TOOELE, Utah (June 27) — GEICO Suzuki rider Chris Ulrich finished the first day of the MotoAmerica Superbike Challenge on Saturday at Miller Motorsports Park with high hopes.
Ulrich finished Superpole 1 qualifying in fifth position, placing him 15th in the grid for Sunday’s two races.
Beginning on Friday, the GEICO Suzuki team dealt with some struggles and had to make adjustments to the bike throughout the practices.
“Yesterday we had to abandon our advanced electronics,” Ulrich said. “We made some changes to the spec of the bike and we had a couple of teething problems, which set us behind for today. We are working really hard to get through that.”
With a best lap time of one minute, 54.137 seconds and a 14th-place position in the third practice Saturday, Ulrich moved to Superpole 1 qualifying, where he finished in fifth position with a top lap of 1:54.199.
“We made a big leap this morning and we expected another at least small leap this afternoon but it didn’t come,” Ulrich said. “We will look at the bike overnight and see how everything is going and see where we can improve in the areas I am struggling with right now.
“Most of the stops are on corner entry, so it’s just one of those things when you make the changes that we have made for this race and you come in and still have to work through it.”
With temperatures forecast for 100 degrees Sunday, Ulrich expects a long, hot race but he’s ready for it.
“Tomorrow I have two very long races, 18 laps, and it’s going to be very hot, so I expect some attrition,” Ulrich said. “I plan to just do my own thing and march forward. I always seem to rise to the occasion in races, so I expect to do that tomorrow.
“Overall we have worked really hard to get here and we are going to continue to work hard overnight and see what we can improve on in the morning in warm-up and what we can also improve on during the races.”