Cardenas Starts Fast at Road Atlanta

Henny Ray Abrams | April 20, 2012

Geico Suzuki’s Martin Cardenas made an early bid for his second pole in as many races by taking the provisional Daytona Sportbike pole at Road Atlanta.

The 2011 Daytona Sportbike champion and Daytona 200 pole-winner narrowly held back a challenge by Team Latus Motors Racing’s Jason DiSalvo (Tri). Cardenas set the fast time of 1:28.938 mins., which DiSalvo missed by .048 sec.

Ducshop Racing’s Jake Zemke finished the day third fastest for the home team. Ducshop is based in nearby Marietta, Georgia. Zemke’s fastest lap on the Ducati 848EVO was 1:29.601 mins. Then came Dane Westby, fourth on the day on the M4 Broaster Chicken Suzuki GSX-R600.

Daytona 200 winner Joey Pascarella was fifth fastest on the SGA Racing/Yamaha Champions Riding School Yamaha R6. Next to him on the provisional second row are Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki’s Cory West, LTD Racing’s Huntley Nash (Yam), and Tommy Hayden. Hayden, who joined the team after Garrett Gerloff broke his leg at Daytona, is the lone representative of the Y.E.S. Graves Yamaha team. Gerloff continues to recover, as does Cameron Beaubier, who suffered injuries in a non-racing accident.

AMA Pro Road Race Daytona Sportbike Qualifying:

1. Martin Cardenas (Suzuki) 1:28.938
2. Jason DiSalvo (Triumph) 1:28.986
3. Jake Zemke (Ducati) 1:29.601
4. Dane Westby (Suzuki) 1:29.900
5. Joey Pascarella (Yamaha) 1:30.026
6. Cory West (Suzuki) 1:30.262
7. Huntley Nash (Yamaha) 1:30.426
8. Tommy Hayden (Yamaha) 1:30.472
9. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:30.493
10. Bobby Fong (Yamaha) 1:30.793

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.