TOOELE, Utah (May 24) — Martin Cardenas likes to go fast on his GEICO Suzuki Daytona SportBike, as witnessed by his three victories and three No. 1 qualifier positions in the first three stops of the 2012 AMA Road Racing season. So it’s no surprise that the 29-year-old Colombian champion says Miller Motorsports Park is one of his favorite racetracks in the world.
“I think this is the best racetrack for me,” Cardenas said of the 3.05-mile, 15-turn course. “And I am very excited to return for this weekend’s race.
“I like to ride wide-open and you can really do that here. There are great straight-aways, the big turns are very high speed and even the sharper corners are middle to high speed, so you can get into a nice, fast flow. You don’t have that stop-and-go feeling like some of the other tracks. It suits my style very well.”
The BigM Weekend schedule calls for just one, not the usual two, main events, so Cardenas knows there is no room for error. Although he’s led the GoPro Daytona SportBike championship points after four of the first five races, he gave away some of his cushion when he crashed out of the last race earlier this month in Sonoma, Calif. His lead over Tommy Hayden was ultimately cut to 12 points.
“Sure, I want to rebuild the lead we had,” Cardenas said. “We have just one chance this weekend to do that so we want to be prepared. I have great confidence in my team and my bikes.
“I was a little sore after the crash and could feel it in my muscles for a few days but I am 100-percent fit now,” Cardenas said. “The guys replaced the frame and the front suspension on the bike that was damaged, but really both of the bikes we have are the same. That’s not always the case but this year we are lucky in that regard. I have ridden them both this year multiple times. It will not be a factor.
“We will continue to race as we have all year. It’s been a great start and there’s no reason to think we won’t have another good outing. I’m excited to see the World Superbike guys race and also to show them what we do in our class.”
Action begins for Cardenas with a practice session at 8:55 a.m., Saturday, with the first qualifying round scheduled for 1:30 p.m. later that day. The second qualifying session, which will set the field, begins at 8:40 a.m., Sunday, with the 16-lap main event kicking off at 4:10 p.m. The race will be shown on SPEED TV.