Suzuki Inside Line- MotoAmerica Road Atlanta, Minneapolis SX, Cal Classic
April 17, 2018
The Suzuki Inside Line
It was an exciting weekend of Suzuki racing with the first round of MotoAmerica Road Racing Championship series kicking off the Suzuki Championship of Road Atlanta and round 14 of AMA Monster Energy Supercross traveling to a snow-covered Minneapolis, MN. Wild weather plagued each location but that didn’t stop Team Suzuki from crossing the finish lines first. Check out The Suzuki Inside Line to see what happened with your favorite Suzuki racer!
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing
The MotoAmerica road racing season kicked off this weekend during the Suzuki Championship of Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA. Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s reigning 2017 Superbike Champion Toni Elias and Roger Hayden were ready for battle on their factory prepared Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbikes.
Before racing began, Elias was presented with a custom made surfboard as a congratulatory gift for winning Suzuki’s 14th AMA Superbike Championship last season. President of Yoshimura Racing Don Sakakura also received a custom designed track engraving of New Jersey Motorsports Park which signified the exact location, date and time his team helped Elias capture the title.
Road Atlanta’s paddock also commenced the Yoshimura Suzuki 40-year anniversary celebration that featured a five-decade championship superbike display along with a special appearance of two-time AMA Superbike champion Wes Cooley. Cooley, the pioneer of superbike racing was recognized for his early achievements with the Yoshimura Suzuki team and spent the weekend signing autographs and taking photos with attending fans.
Day one of racing saw perfect weather and dry track conditions that allowed Toni Elias to win race one by a marginal five second victory. Teammate Roger Hayden had an unfortunate crash early on during the race and was unable to remount the motorcycle.
Day two’s weather saw wet track conditions with a rain forecasted for much of the day. Hayden got out in front early to lead the initial part of the race, however he lost traction in a corner and went down with the bike sliding into the red Georgia clay. The slippery conditions didn’t hinder Elias from setting the fastest lap of the race and taking the checkered flag. Teammate Hayden was able to remount and charge back up to fifth place, salvaging points for the weekend.
GC Services Suzuki
Another Suzuki milestone was laid Saturday at Road Atlanta as Chris Parrish rode his GC Services Suzuki SV650 to victory in the first-ever Twins Cup Race. The new Twins class features middle-weight two cylinder motorcycles and the majority of the field were on Suzuki SV650s. Chris’ win marks the first MotoAmerica national win for the SV650, which is already a club-racing favorite around the world.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki
Cory West piloted the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 to a third-place result in Saturday's MotoAmerica Supersport race in place of the injured Valentin Debise. West’s podium capped the day as the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki riders combined to claim third, fourth, and sixth-place results. In Sunday’s wet conditions West rode a smart race, avoiding danger to notch an 8th place finish.
Despite a poor grid spot, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Jake Lewis kicked off his Superbike championship hunt with a well-earned 5th place finish in Saturday’s race. Lewis suffered the same fate as other top contenders as Sunday’s slick conditions caught him out and the resulting crash prevented him from finishing the race.
Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing
The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team ventured to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN for round 14 of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series and what was the final “Triple Crown” event. Weston Peick took advantage of the three-main-event format to score a podium in the second main on his Suzuki RM-Z450 and capture sixth overall on an exciting evening and currently sits sixth in the overall 450 championship standings.
450 teammate Malcolm Stewart logged the second quickest lap time in daytime qualifying and showed flashes of utter brilliance in the night program. At various points throughout the evening he was running inside the top ten, but crashes stymied his advance. Stewart finished 14th overall and is tenth in the 450 championship point standings.
Suzuki RM-Z250 rider Kyle Peters logged the sixth fastest time in the opening qualifying session for the 250 East class. The North Carolina local crashed in the treacherous snow while heading from the pits to the stadium for the second qualifying session and sustained an injury that kept him from racing. Peters is sixth in the 250 East championship standings.
Minneapolis brought H.E.P. Motorsports its third and final Triple Crown of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. The team headed into Minneapolis on a mission to perform well and did so with riders Kyle Cunningham, Henry Miller and Cedric Soubeyras all qualifying into the night show aboard their Suzuki RM-Z450’s. Cunningham had a challenging night with having to race the LCQ where he battled to a second place finish. During the three main event format, Cunningham finished the night in 15th overall. Hometown hero Henry Miller had a great night racing in front of his home crowd. The evening started off strong for Miller by winning the 450 LCQ, earning his ticket into the main events. Throughout the three main event format, Miller rode smart and consistent laps throughout each main and finished the night in 18th. 3-time European Supercross Champion Cedric Soubeyras continued his charge in America’s premier racing championship series in Minneapolis. Soubeyras rode well throughout all three main events and finished off in 16th overall.
As a team, H.E.P. Motorsports had one of its best performances with three riders qualify in the top twenty-five. With the momentum rolling, look for H.E.P. Motorsports to roll into Foxborough this weekend twisting RM-Z throttle!
Suzuki Amateur Motocross Racing
The amateur motocross racing scene heading out west for the California Classic Motocross Championship at Pala Raceway in Pala, CA. Suzuki Amateur Motocross Racing was well represented throughout each racing class battling for championships. Congratulations to the following RM Army racers that landed on the podium aboard their Suzuki RM’s and RM-Z’s!
Class Name Place
Schoolboy 2 Austin Black 2nd
College Boy Cole Barbieri 1st
College Boy Jack Fowler 2nd
250 B Austin Black 3rd
450 B Jarrett Frye 2nd
450 B Austin Black 3rd
Open B Jarrett Frye 2nd
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