ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 1) — Three AMA Pro Daytona SportBike riders bettered the established elapsed time record at historic Road America Friday, and as usual, GEICO Suzuki rider and current class points leader Martin Cardenas was in the mix.
Cardenas initially clocked a 2:19.949 around the 4.05-mile, 14-turn road course — the first sub-2:20 circuit ever — before lowering the mark to 2:19.933. Remarkably, his best time ended up third overall as rivals Cameron Beaubier and Jason DiSalvo both ran fractionally quicker laps in the latter stages of the session.
“The bike felt very good, very fast,” Cardenas said. “I think I could have gone even quicker there at the end but I am pleased with the consistency of the laps we made.”
All the top riders will get a chance to improve their qualifying position Saturday morning beginning at 9:20 a.m. when the Group A riders set the final grid. The first of two GoPro Daytona SportBike main events begins at 2 p.m.
“We should be very quick again,” Cardenas said. “The weather was cool today, which I think helps the performance of the motorcycles, and it’s supposed to be very similar tomorrow. I am sure we will be prepared to make a move.
“I rode both bikes in the practice session this morning and we made some changes from there to prepare for qualifying. The bike we selected responded very well to the adjustments and it was easy to ride. I am very happy with everything at the moment. No problems.”
Cardenas leads the championship rankings by 31 points on the strength of four victories in six races this season. He has started on the pole four times.