Jul 27, 2012
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by David Swarts
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AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Championship leader Martin Cardenas was the fastest rider during the class' first and only practice session Friday at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Cardenas lapped the undulating 2.2-mile natural road course in 1:27.952 on his GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600 to top the field of 27 riders.
Missing from that field is Jason DiSalvo, who is currently fifth in the Championship point standings with one win and six podium finishes. DiSalvo will not participate in the event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a member of the Latus Motors Racing team told Roadracingworld.com, and he is due to return to action at the New Jersey Motorsports Park round in September.
Roadracingworld.com was unable to immediately reach DiSalvo on his cell phone.
Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix/AMA Pro Road Racing
AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
July 27, 2012
Provisional Free Practice One Results (all on Dunlop tires):
1. Martin Cardenas (Suz GSX-R600), 1:27.952
2. Tommy Hayden (Yam YZF-R6), 1:28.004
3. Cameron Beaubier (Yam YZF-R6), 1:28.465
4. Jake Zemke (Duc 848EVO), 1:28.568
5. Dane Westby (Suz GSX-R600), 1:28.577
6. Jake Gagne (Yam YZF-R6), 1:28.710
7. Tommy Aquino (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.050
8. Fernando Amantini (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:29.491
9. Bobby Fong (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.655
10. Cory West (Suz GSX-R600), 1:29.725
11. Aaron Gobert (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.818
12. Huntley Nash (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.855
13. Tyler O'Hara (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.887
14. Michael Beck (Yam YZF-R6), 1:29.932
15. Joey Pascarella (Suz GSX-R600), 1:30.014
16. J.D. Beach (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.444
17. Benny Solis (Yam YZF-R6), 1:30.466
18. Bryce Prince (Yam YZF-R6), 1:31.404
19. David Gaviria (Yam YZF-R6), 1:31.578
20. Ben Young (Yam YZF-R6), 1:31.594
21. Nahun Alvarez (Yam YZF-R6), 1:32.236
22. Brian Pinkstaff (Kaw ZX-6R), 1:32.379
23. Josh Galster (Yam YZF-R6), 1:33.557
24. Matthew Presting (Yam YZF-R6), 1:33.978
25. Ted Rich (Yam YZF-R6), 1:34.423
26. Chris Duran (Yam YZF-R6), 1:34.737
27. Melissa Paris (Yam YZF-R6), 1:34.771
More, from a press release issued by Geiger Media on behalf of GEICO:
GEICO Suzuki rider Cardenas makes a statement in first Laguna Seca practice
MONTEREY, Calif. (July 27) -- Championship points leader Martin Cardenas used Friday's first practice session at the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix to let all of his peers in the AMA GoPro Daytona SportBike class know that he's definitely the man to beat this weekend. Cardenas turned a best lap of 1:27.952 around the 11-turn, 2.23-mile Laguna Seca course to pace opening day action on his GEICO Suzuki GSX-R.
"It's only the first practice session so we won't get too excited but we're very pleased with this start," Cardenas said. "Both of the bikes performed well and were very easy to ride. The GEICO crew did a fantastic job of preparing these Suzukis for me."
Cardenas enters the weekend with a commanding 40-point lead over M4 stablemate Dane Westby, who was fifth quickest with a 1:28.577. There are just seven races left on the 2012 AMA Pro Road Racing schedule, including Sunday's main event from Laguna Seca.
The Daytona SportBike category will have two qualifying sessions Saturday. The first begins at 8 a.m. and the second at 12:20 p.m. Sunday opens with a quick warm-up session at 8 a.m., with the 20-lap main event scheduled for 11:15 a.m. PST.
"I believe there are small adjustments that can be made to make us even quicker," the 29-year-old Colombian said. "The baseline from today is very good so we have a great starting point. Not much needs to be done but if we can find a way to be even a little bit better, then we will go for it."
Tommy Hayden was second quickest Friday with a 1:28.004. Cameron Beaubier was third best with a 1:28.465.
Cardenas has won six of the first 12 races this year. His 22 career Daytona SportBike victories are the most ever in the class.
More, from a press release issued by LTD Racing:
NASH OPENS PROMISING LAGUNA SECA WEEKEND
Monterey, CA (July 27, 2012) LTD Racing's Huntley Nash was 12th in the single AMA Pro Daytona SportBike session on Friday at Laguna Seca and the young rider feels he can improve on that mark during the rest of the USGP weekend.
Nash, a former SuperSport race winner at Laguna Seca, continues to work on his goal of racing in the lead pack in the ultracompetitive class. He accomplished that goal at Road America and rebounded after a tough race at the most recent event at Mid-Ohio to equal his best-yet DSB finish on Sunday.
At Laguna Seca on Friday, Nash was able to break the 1 minute, 30 second barrier with a lap of 1:29.855 during a longer run and followed that up with a lap of 1:29.957.
"Just having one session makes it tough because you can't feel things out and then make the changes you want," said Nash. "You essentially get one shot at it. I think we can do better so of course I would have liked to have had another shot at going faster today. We'll make some changes to the bike for tomorrow and I think we can do better and hopefully be able to run with the lead pack in the race."
Nash and LTD Racing will have two chances at qualifying on Saturday and then race at 11:15 on Sunday in the 20-lap race.
More, from a press release issued by Team Hammer:
WESTBY FIFTH IN OPENING LAGUNA SECA SESSION
M4 Suzuki's Dane Westby was fifth in the opening AMA Pro Daytona SportBike session at the USGP at Laguna Seca on Friday. Westby, who has won or finished second in the last four Daytona SportBike races and climbed to a clear second in points during his hot streak, is looking to extend his strong run in California.
Westby's best lap on Friday was 1:28.577 as the Oklahoman is firmly in the mix with two qualifying sessions still to go.
"It was a good day -- we were just a few tenths off of first and we've got some tricks up our sleeve for tomorrow," said Dane. "We're going to shorten up the bike to make it turn a little easier and we're adjusting the suspension settings up front.
"We're a second faster than we we've ever gone here before," he continued. "Things have been going good. My uncle passed away recently and I think he's up there looking out for us. I haven't been to Laguna much and to be where we are already is promising. I've really worked hard to improve my riding and I feel like we've taken it to the next level."
Chris Ulrich got the weekend underway in the single Superbike session of Friday. Chris clocked his best lap of 1:27.880, which was good for a classification of 14th in the 1000cc class at the 2.238-mile circuit.
Robertino Pietri will not ride the Team Venezuela bike this weekend as he continues to recover from his Elkhart Lake injuries.
In SuperSport, Elena Myers qualified a promising 10th on the Suzuki SportBikeTrackGear.com GSX-R600. Myers' best time was 1:31.555 as the young rider continues to improve her skills.
In 2012, Team Hammer, Inc. is competing in its 32nd consecutive racing season and marks its sixth year of offering technical and logistical support through its Contract Services Department. Riders on Team Hammer-prepared racebikes have earned 53 AMA Pro National race wins; 122 AMA Pro National podium finishes; 4 AMA Pro Championships; 133 Overall National Endurance race wins; 13 National Endurance Championships and assorted other race wins and titles.