WESTBY AND M4 SUZUKI LOOK TO BATTLE IN SONOMA
Published: May 04, 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.
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.
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