SONOMA, Calif. (May 4) — Championship points leader Martin Cardenas opened qualifying for this weekend’s Great Clips West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway with a best lap time of 1:38.593, slotting his GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600 third overall.
It was a decent start for the 29-year-old Colombian, who entered this race fresh off consecutive AMA Pro Daytona SportBike victories at the tour’s last stop in Road Atlanta.
“The GEICO bike continues to run well,” Cardenas said. “Qualifying went much better than this morning’s practice. We tried the soft tire and it gave us a lot more grip, but we don’t think it’s going to be able to run through a whole race. We have to keep working with the medium tire to find a little more grip in the rear.”
Cardenas and crew will get another shot at the track in the second qualifying session, scheduled for 9:20 a.m. Saturday. Most expect Q2 to be much quicker as cooler ambient temperatures in the morning hours should add a shot of horsepower to everyone’s tune-up.
“It’s looking good for us,” Cardenas said. “I think we will get pretty good speed from the bike tomorrow morning. I have to do some things better on the bike, but hopefully the things we have to fix are small things. It would be great to move up the grid but being on the front row in any position is good.”
Jason Disalvo (1:38.159) and Cameron Beaubier (1:38.466), eighth and 13th in the points, respectively, were the only two riders quicker than Cardenas in Q1.