Hopkins and Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki on Provisional Front Row at Auto Club

NEWS March 26, 2010

Hopkins and Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki on Provisional Front Row at Auto Club

Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki's John Hopkins registered an impressive performance on the opening day of competition at Auto Club Speedway on Friday, securing a spot on the provisional front row in a hotly competitive AMA Pro American Superbike qualifying session.

Putting his Daytona frustrations behind him, the former MotoGP superstar and his crew worked together to make marked improvements on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 following the opening free session which enabled him to rank up near the top of the charts during the first of two weekend qualifying sessions. The Californian posted a fast lap of 1:24.190 during qualifying, placing him fourth in the session and just
0.208 seconds off of provisional pole.

After the session Hopkins stated, "Today wasn't too bad at all -- we had a good run. We changed a lot of set-up from practice to qualifying and we actually hit it right on the dot. The bike I went out with on the last time, I don't think we're going to change anything going into tomorrow. I felt really confident on it."

Hopkins added with a laugh, "I went out, put in the fast time, and then I actually did what I hate people to do, which is be a leach. I followed a few people because the bike was great and I just wanted to see where I needed to improve. I followed some guys to get an idea of where I could make up some time.

"I think we've got a good baseline going into tomorrow and I'd say we're in pretty good shape for sure."

Hopkins was joined in coming back strong from a rough opener by teammate Martin Cardenas, who qualified fifth best provisionally for the weekend's twin AMA Pro Daytona SportBike races.

The Colombian laid down a fast time of 1:27.560 aboard his GSX-R600, just 0.396 seconds off of the provisional pole time in what was another competitive session.

Chris Ulrich rounded out a successful day's work for the team, joining Hopkins in the Superbike top ten aboard his Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki GSX-R1000. Ulrich ranked tenth on the day with a best time of 1:25.270, just 0.042 seconds off of the fastest lap of American Superbike championship leader Jake Zemke.

On Saturday Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki will set the grids for the weekend's twin Superbike and SportBike races during the morning's final qualifying sessions and then go racing in the afternoon in a pair of 21-lap contests.

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