BREA, Calif., April 11, 2022 — Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer’s Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki Superbike effort found more speed on Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas as Superbike class rookie Richie Escalante spearheaded a 5-6 finish for the team in the second round of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike season.
Superbike rookie Richie Escalante (54) continues to improve quickly and finished in the top five on Sunday.
Escalante and teammate Jake Lewis got away in seventh and eighth, respectively, and immediately started fighting forward aboard their factory-backed Suzuki GSX- R1000Rs.
Reigning Stock 1000 champion Lewis took point and the two positioned themselves to strike for a place inside the top five. Kentuckian Lewis was the first to do so, but he was then overhauled by impressive class newcomer Escalante, who is quickly finding his form on the bigger, faster machine after years of stardom on middleweight equipment.
Escalante not only ultimately scored his first premier-class top five, but he also effectively slashed the gap between himself and victory by half overnight.
Escalante said, “We made some changes on the bike and we surely improved, especially in the later laps. I’m super happy to put up consistent laps and finish P5. My entire Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki crew did an amazing job.
“I’m excited, but there’s still a lot of work to do to win in Superbike. I can’t wait until Road Atlanta to continue my process.”
Jake Lewis (85) rode strong this weekend delivering two sixth-place finishes aboard his GSX-R1000R.
Lewis finished one position back to walk away from a promising first weekend back with the team with a pair of sixths.
He said, “We picked up another sixth, but we made a little bit of progress in that race. I got a decent start and then got into a rhythm and kept charging and charging. When Richie came by, I had run out of tire a little bit and didn’t have anything for him.”
“Overall, it was a better day and a better race. We will continue to try some things and hopefully progress for the next round.”
Both athletes are tied for fourth in the points standings after a challenging first event of the season, with limited track time to dial in the settings on their Suzuki GSX-R race bikes.
The AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship will resume with all classes in action together for the first time this season in two weeks’ time at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, on April 22-24.
ABOUT TEAM HAMMER
The 2022 season marks Team Hammer's 42nd consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 128 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 332 times, and have won 11 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships (in Superbike and Supersport.) The team has also won 137 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running "Methanol Monster" GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.
ABOUT VISION WHEEL
Founded in 1976, Vision Wheel is one of the nation’s leading providers of custom wheels for cars and trucks, and one of the first manufacturers of custom wheels and tires for ATVs, UTVs, and golf carts. Vision Wheel looks beyond the current trends and to the future in developing, manufacturing, and distributing its wheels. Vision’s lines of street, race, off-road, American Muscle, and Milanni wheels are distributed nationally and internationally through a trusted network of distributors. Vision Wheel also produces the Vision It AR app to allow users to see how their wheel of choice will look on their vehicle before purchase and installation. For more information on Vision Wheel, visit www.visionwheel.com.
Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. (SMO) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automotive Parts, Accessories, and ECSTAR Oils & Chemicals via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors, and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.