CARDENAS ON PROVISIONAL POLE AT ROAD AMERICA
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas got his weekend off to a blistering start on Friday, claiming the provisional pole for this weekend’s AMA Pro Daytona SportBike doubleheader at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI.
The Colombian registered a session-best time of 2:21.135 aboard his GSX-R600 around the high-speed four-mile road course to lead the way by 0.054 seconds in the ultra-competitive class.
Cardenas, who typically elevates his game a step higher in the races than in practice and qualifying, will look to secure what would be just his second career pole position in Saturday morning’s final session. After qualifying is complete, he’ll then turn his attention to adding to his class-leading tally of four victories in 2010.
“As soon as I started practice today I felt pretty good and the bike was working great,” Cardenas said. “We didn’t have to make any changes to the bike, I could just ride it — I think that helps a lot. I have always liked this track.
“I think it’s very important here to brake very deep and I think I’m good at that. Maybe that’s a strong point that I have here, and I think that helped me make my fast lap. We tried some things with the brakes today and I pushed as hard as I could for two laps and one of them was the fastest lap of the session.
“I think if you’re in the first row, you’re okay. You have the same possibilities as if you have the pole because the racing has been very tight so if you start in fourth or first it’s the same. The first few laps you can change a lot of positions, but it’s always good to be on the pole and know that you were the fastest.”
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s AMA Pro American Superbike riders put in strong efforts on Friday, taking a pair of slots on the provisional second row.
Jake Holden, who is taking part in his second race weekend with the team as a substitute for the mending John Hopkins, was sixth fastest on Friday. The multi-time AMA Superstock race winner laid down a best time of 2:15.427 aboard the team’s GSX-R1000 racebike.
Chris Ulrich was just two sports further down the order. The Californian posted the day’s eighth best time, clocking a 2:16.059 around the scenic midwestern circuit.
On Saturday morning Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki will settle their final grid positions and then kick off the weekend’s Daytona SportBike and American Superbike race action in the afternoon.