What most impressed Martin Cardenas in his first ride aboard the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was the speed. Coming off the GEICO Suzuki GSX-R600, on which he won the 2012 Daytona SportBike title last year, the difference in power was impressive, he said, after testing his new race machine most recently at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway in the desert southeast of Los Angeles.

"It is very, very fast," Cardenas said in a phone conversation on Monday morning. "The power is like the most thing that you can feel. The main difference is... yeah, very powerful. And so far it's been good. The bike seems to be working really good and also the team, all the guys are pretty nice, so I think we started good."

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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.