Tough Opening Day for M4 Suzuki in Utah
NEWS May 29, 2011
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
Team M4 Suzuki's Martin Cardenas came into Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele Valley, UT with high hopes following his first-career AMA Superbike podium earned at the championship's previous stop at Infineon Raceway.
The Colombian registered a solid second-row provisional qualifying performance on a chilly Saturday, ranking sixth best at 1:51.408 in the weekend's opening Superbike qualifying session.
However, sixth best didn't meet Cardenas' lofty expectations and he's determined to improve markedly as the weekend continues to take shape.
Martin, who is the team's sole rider in the Superbike class this weekend with Chris Ulrich sidelined following his dramatic Infineon Raceway fall, said, "Sixth … not so good. I was expecting to be a little bit quicker. I was making a lot of mistakes on the track and we were struggling to get the set-up that I wanted and it's still not perfect.
"During qualifying we were searching for rear grip a little bit. We were kind of struggling there and some corners I wasn't quite hitting them right. I was hoping to go faster than I did but it wasn't possible. We'll try tomorrow and Monday."
Ulrich appeared at the track for promotional events but was not medically cleared to race.
Team M4 Suzuki's Daytona SportBike duo, Dane Westby and Santiago Villa, find themselves in a similar position to Cardenas as they also look to perfectly dial in their GSX-R600s to meet the demands of the wide-open circuit.
Westby is provisionally on the outside of the third row with the session's 12th best time at 1:57.095, while Villa is just a few positions further removed in 15th at 1:57.923.
Final grid positions will be established for both classes on Sunday, although the orders may change very little if the expected rain and mid-40 temperatures invade the region. The SportBike contenders will then contest their weekend race tomorrow afternoon with the Superbike race scheduled for Monday.
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