BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (June 20) – GEICO Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas is facing a different kind of track at this weekend’s Triumph SuperBike Classic at Barber Motorsports Park, but is hoping for the same kind of results he’s enjoyed all season.
Cardenas has won six of the eight AMA Pro Daytona SportBike races this year, including the last three in a row. He also won the 2011 SuperBike trophy at Barber, so he’s confident he knows the quick line around the 2.38-mile, 14-turn circuit.
“It’s a track I enjoy and I’ve had good results there in the past,” Cardenas said. “I’m looking forward to another good result.”
Cardenas has been winning in just about every way imaginable, from last-lap heroics to wire-to-wire domination. And he knows to continue his success at Barber, he’ll need to cook up another winning recipe as the track lacks a classic straightway where bikes tend to bunch up and use the draft.
The 29-year-old Colombian said the key to victory this weekend will be to get out front early and get some distance between himself and the rest of the field.
“It’s easier for a faster guy to break away from the group at this track,” Cardenas said. “We’ll have to see how our pace compares during practice and qualifying.” It’s important to qualify on the first row. You need to be at the front in order to be the one setting the pace, instead of trying to catch up.”
As is the case for racing in the summer, the weather will always be a factor.
“It’s going to be very hot there, of course,” Cardenas said. “But there’s also a strong chance for rain. We’ve seen rain there in the past, so the crew will have to be ready for either wet or dry conditions.”
If Cardenas is able to keep his scorching pace aboard the GEICO Suzuki, he will be able to expand his AMA Pro Daytona SportBike lead, which has already grown to 47 points over second place Jason DiSalvo.
Practice for the Daytona SportBike class gets under way at 1 p.m. CDT on Friday with the first qualifier expected to roll off at 3 p.m. Saturday will see second qualifier at 8:50 a.m. with the first race 21-lap race of the weekend starting at 2 p.m. On Sunday there will be another 21-lap event starting at 2:15 p.m.
SPEED will air the weekend’s racing at midnight EDT on Monday.