AMA Laguna Seca: M4 Suzuki Friday Recap

Supebike Laguna Seca

Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki displayed impressive speed in American Superbike and Daytona SportBike on Friday at Laguna Seca as Jake Holden and Martin Cardenas fought for top positions in the weekend’s opening sessions.

Superbike rider Holden and SportBike title contender Cardenas both ended the day ranked third fastest during an encouraging opening day of AMA Pro Road Racing practice.

Holden, who is in his last scheduled ride for the team with a recovering John Hopkins eager to return to action at the series’ next round, was the fastest man late in the Superbike session until narrowly being relegated to third.

The Washington native clocked a 1:25.388 aboard his GSX-R1000 at a circuit he’s enjoyed success at in the past, including claiming his first career AMA Pro victory at the venue back in 2007.

Jake Holden says: "The M4 Monster Energy Suzuki guys threw a bunch of stuff at me that session. I think we changed gearing two or three times and we changed suspension drastically. We finally got a pretty good feel out there for the bike and I got to running with the top riders in the class and I was able to hang with them. I could see where I was struggling too, so we’ll go into tomorrow focused on working on those weaker points."

"Laguna has always been good to me — this is one of my favorite tracks along with Phillip Island. I don’t think I’ve ridden to my full potential with the team yet. I’ve just got to hang it out there and ride as well as I know how I can and we’ll be up front. This is a great team and their bikes are good enough to win, so it’s just up to me to put it together."

Martin Cardenas was third fastest in the SportBike session aboard his GSX-R600 at 1:29.083. The Colombian took his first career pole position at Laguna Seca last year.

Martin Cardenas says: "I think today went pretty good," the AMA Daytona SportBike rider remarked. "We tried a little bit different setting than last year. It’s quite okay. We have to change something on the front but the bike seems to be working good. We’re really focused on the race and we’re decided on what tires to use. We have a few things left to try tomorrow but I think we’re ready to go.

"I will try to repeat my pole from last year tomorrow. I would love to be on pole again. We’ll see."

Chris Ulrich was just outside the top ten in the opening Superbike practice, registering a best time of 1:27.211, good enough for eleventh place. A particularly deep Superbike field is contesting the combined MotoGP/AMA weekend, making it all the more difficult to break into the upper echelons, but Ulrich has his sights set on his eleventh consecutive top ten result of the season.

On Saturday Team M4 Monster Energy will qualify in American Superbike and Daytona SportBike to claim their grid positions for Sunday’s 23-lap races.