TOOELE, Utah (May 26) – Daytona SportBike points leader Martin Cardenas continued his roll by grabbing the provisional pole Saturday on his GEICO Suzuki at Miller Motorsports Park.
Cardenas has qualified first twice and won three races thus far in the 2012 AMA GoPro Daytona SportBike series. He was second-fastest in Saturday’s first practice but then surged to the top of the chart with a lap of 1 minute, 56.5 seconds in qualifying.
“The qualifying runs went well,” Cardenas said. “The wind was blowing pretty strong though. I waited for a couple of minutes for the track to dry out and we put a fresh new tire on the bike. The last 10 minutes we went out, and I was able to grab a spot on the pole.
“I hope the conditions improve a little for tomorrow so we go out again for Qualifying 2.”
Sunday’s forecast calls for a 40 percent chance of rain for Qualifying 2, which is slated for 8:50 a.m. MDT. The 29-year-old Cardenas could hold on to the pole should Sunday’s qualifying be run in the rain.
Saturday started with a torrential downpour for most of the morning, making the track wet and slick. High winds were also added to the equation making it difficult to control the bikes.
“It was very windy out there,” Cardenas said. “Even on the straight you were feeling the strong wind push you to the side. I had to put a lot of weight on the front tire and be a little cautious. On some of the corners, the front wheel wanted to come up. Turn 2 and a couple other corners were still a little wet along with the wind which made it difficult.”
Miller’s 15-turn, 3.05-mile course is one of Cardenas’ favorites, and he’s been plenty fast during the BigM Weekend.
“I like this track a lot, the layout is great.” Cardenas said. “The track has some good tight corners which I like. I got on the podium back in 2007, and 2008 I did not come here because I was injured. Last year I did well here until I crashed, but I do love this place. It is one of the best tracks in the U.S.”
The 16-lap GoPro Daytona SportBike main event is slated for 4:10 p.m. MDT Sunday, and SPEED will provide coverage starting at 6:30 p.m. EDT.