Reigning AMA Daytona Sportbike Champion Martin Cardenas has signed on to race in the AMA Superbike class for Yoshimura Suzuki. The move was rumored to be in the works for quite some time now, especially following Cardenas’ release from the final year of his contract with his former employer Team Hammer.
Cardenas will return to the Superbike class this season, riding a Suzuki GSX-R1000 alongside teammate Chris Clark. Cardenas last raced in the class during the 2011 season, finishing fourth overall with a single race victory. That lone Superbike season was sandwiched by championship-winning campaigns in the 2010 and 2012 Daytona Sportbike class where Cardenas rode a Suzuki GSX-R600.
“I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to race for one of the best, if not the best, Superbike teams in the U.S.,” says Cardenas. “It’s really a dream come true to become part of the Yoshimura Suzuki team. I will give everything I have to try to obtain the best results for the team and for me. And hopefully I will be in the mix for the top spot in the championship.”
Competing for the Yoshimura team may be a stepping stone to something bigger. When Team Hammer released Cardenas from his contract, the team said it was to give him a better chance at realizing his dream of competing in the World Superbike Championship.
“We recognize that Martin’s heart is set on racing in the Superbike World Championship, and that the best way to help Martin achieve his goal is to allow him to take advantage of another opportunity now,” said John Ulrich, co-founder of Team Hammer. “We wish him well, and appreciate the outstanding job he did on our motorcycles. All we can say now is, ‘Thank You, Martin!'”
Cardenas takes the spot on Yoshimura Suzuki previously occupied by Blake Young. Despite finishing second in the last two AMA Superbike seasons, Young finds himself without a full time ride for the 2013 season. There is a consolation however, with Young tabbed to ride the Attack Performance CRT machine at the three U.S. MotoGP rounds.