Cardenas Qualifies Fourth on First Day at infineon
NEWS May 14, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
M4 Suzuki's Martin Cardenas continued to demonstrate his ability to be a major player in the AMA Superbike class, provisionally qualifying the team's GSX-R1000 on the front row on Friday at Infineon Raceway.
Hustling a 200-horsepower Superbike around the tight, twisty, and blind Northern California circuit is no simple task, but the reigning AMA Pro Daytona SportBike Champion showed his sheer talent and the team's ability to field a quality Superbike by logging competitive times with the class' established stars.
Cardenas clocked the third fastest time in the morning practice at 1:38.159 and then proceeded to lop nearly a full off his best mark in the subsequent qualifying session with a 1:37.289. That lap was the fourth best of the session, strong enough to place him on the outside of the provisional front row.
"We improved the bike quite a bit from the practice to qualifying, which was very encouraging," Cardenas said. "The top two guys are pretty far out there but we'll look to continue to improve and close the gap.
"The Superbike is a bit a handful around this racetrack, especially around the chicane area. It wants to wheelie and move quite a lot, but I am adapting to it and getting better. It's actually a lot of fun."
Teammate Chris Ulrich will look to improve on Saturday after ranking 14th in Saturday's qualifying session at 1:39.601.
Meanwhile in the Daytona SportBike class, Dane Westby put the GSX-R600 on the overnight second row. The Oklahoman was eighth quick on the day, lapping at 1:40.990.
Santiago Villa was 14th at 1:43.314, although that position does not tell the full story for the Colombian on Friday. Villa was set back due to an incident early in qualifying, preventing him from again showing the potential he flashed by running seventh fastest in the morning practice session.
The four M4 Suzuki pilots will claim their final spots on the grids for the weekend's twin Superbike and SportBike races at the conclusion of tomorrow morning's qualifying sessions before going racing in the afternoon.
Follow this link to KTVU's video report on Team M4 Suzuki Chris Ulrich's two-seat Superbike media ride activities Thursday at Infineon Raceway.
This link takes you to KTVU's photo slideshow from the event:
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