WESTBY AND M4 SUZUKI LOOK TO BATTLE IN SONOMA
NEWS May 4, 2012
Team M4 Suzuki's Dane Westby has brought high expectations into this weekend's AMA Pro Road Racing event at Infineon Raceway following his double podium effort last time out at Road Atlanta.
Westby, who is second in the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike points chase trailing only GEICO Suzuki's Martin Cardenas, opened the day with a strong fourth-place showing in the Friday free practice.
'The Wolverine' improved his time by nearly a half-second in provisional qualifying, hustling his GSX-R600 around the undulating Northern Californian circuit in 1:40.007.
That time left Westby seventh at the conclusion of a windy day in Sonoma with Saturday morning's second qualifying session still ahead to determine the doubleheaders grid positioning.
Similarly, SuzukiScoopFans Sportbike TrackGear.com M4 Suzuki's Elena Myers was fourth overall in the AMA Pro SuperSport free session. However, despite running considerably faster in qualifying, she dropped to 13th on the provisional order at the circuit where she scored her historic maiden AMA Pro victory in 2010. Myers' best lap on the day was 1:44.069. Myers, a winner at Daytona in March, is still recovering from recent wrist surgery.
Team Venezuela's Robertino Pietri and M4 Suzuki's Chris Ulrich ran 13th and 14th in a closely contested opening AMA Pro Superbike qualifying session. The Venezuelan's fastest circulation was a 1:38.488 while the Californian managed a best mark of 1:39.119.
"We made a big improvement from FP1 to qualifying," Ulrich explained. "It was just a small change that allowed me to position the bike better that made a major difference. At the end of the session we made another change in the same direction but it was just a little too much and we weren't able to fully capitalize on of the new tire.
"But the big thing is that everything is starting to come around again and I'm having fun on the motorcycle, which is important. The bike is a lot more fun to ride and I can find a rhythm. We have room to improve but we're making real progress. It was a close session and there are two factory bikes behind me, which is a positive thing. We're getting everything back to where it should be."
On Saturday Westby, Myers, Pietri, and Ulrich will follow up final qualifying with the first-half of the Infineon Raceway weekend's SportBike, SuperSport, and Superbike doubleheaders.
In 2012, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 32nd consecutive racing season and marks its sixth year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. The team has earned 48 AMA Pro National race wins; 114 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 4 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.
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