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It was called #OperationDaytona and it’s now officially a success: Ferran Cardús and Franc Serra had an impressive showing at the Daytona TT, after being invited to take part following the inaugural RFME Copa de España de Flat Track in 2016. Champion and runner-up on the national stage in Spain, the two men traveled to the US to take on 70 of the best of the best in the Singles category – on their own soil - with some incredible results to show for it.
Cardús, who rides for Suzuki Grau in Spain, opened his account with a P2 in timed practice and won his qualifying event – before coming second once again in his Semifinal – a result that put him through to the Final. There, the Spaniard had a difficult getaway – including some touches with other riders and a small crash – but put in an incredible fight back through the field from last place, ending the final in P7.
Serra, a Honda ART rider back home, had a night characterized by comebacks. In his heat the Spaniard was affected by a crash for another rider and couldn’t directly qualify for the Semifinals, going through a last chance qualifier and coming back from P12 to take second and go through. There, Serra came from the back row and made impressive progress – but just missed out on going through to the final by a single place.
#TeamBullet vs. #TeamMees
In Operation Daytona, Cardús was supported by Brad Baker and Serra by Jared Mees. An anticipated duel in both the Twins and Singles category was cut short, however, after Baker suffered a crash in his heat and went to hospital. The 2013 Grand National Champion said he’ll be back stronger next time – with Indian Motorcycle teammate Mees taking the honours in the Twins final.
Ferran Cardús: “I gave everything to come back in the final. I think if we’d not had all the difficulties at the start, where I fell and ended up last, I might have been able to end up on the podium. I’m still learning, I’ve only been a Flat Track rider for three years, so I have to be happy. I had the rhythm, I made up 11 places in the Main Event and we made good progress throughout the night. Thanks to American Flat Track, Motos Grau, Brad Baker and all of my sponsors for the opportunity.”
Franc Serra: "I’m very happy to have had the experience. It was incredible, and hopefully one day I’ll be able to do it again. There are some great people in American Flat Track, from the riders to the organisers and mechanics. I think I adapted well to the track and the bike. We didn’t have much time to test it and set it up bit by bit. I’m happy with my comebacks and I’m really satisfied. I just need to thank American Flat Track, Honda ART, Jared Mees and Bell Helmets for their support in this adventure!”
Next stop Valencia:
The 2017 RFME Copa de España de Flat Track fires up for the year on the 8th April at the quarter mile at the Circuit de Ricardo Tormo in Valencia. There, Cardús will begin his defense of the number 1 plate. First, the reigning Champion heads for the short track in Atlanta on the 25th March and half mile in Charlotte on the 1st April. For more info on the RFME Copa de España de Flat Track, click here.
Photos: Andrea Wilson Photography