Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias Scores Double Victory in Alabama Finale

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias earned an impressive sweep at Barber Motorsports Park this weekend, scoring victory on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 in both Saturday and Sunday’s 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship finale. Sunday’s win marked the ninth of the season for Elias, earning him the distinction of scoring the most MotoAmerica Superbike wins in 2018.

Elias’ teammate Roger Hayden experienced an emotion-filled weekend with hundreds of fans, fellow racers and race team members offering him well wishes as he competed in his final pro race. Hayden battled for a podium spot and finished fourth in Saturday’s race and then ran off the track early in Sunday’s race falling to last, before charging back to finish 8th. 

Elias had riveting battles for the win in both races, moving up quickly from his seventh-place start on the grid, Saturday he pulled away decisively late in the race to win by 7.340 second. In Sunday’s race the top positions in the championship were all decided, so it was a no-holds-barred battle up front between Elias, Cameron Beaubier and Josh Herrin. At the checkered flag Elias won by 3-10ths of a second over Beaubier.

“It was an incredible way to end the year,” Elias said. “It was a real fair fight on Sunday since we were no longer thinking about points. It was a challenge and my team gave me a great bike. To have the most wins this year was a nice accomplishment for the team. Cameron [Beaubier] and his team had a fantastic year and they deserved the championship, but now we will begin testing and get ready to come back to fight to win back the No. 1 plate next season. I also will miss Roger as a teammate. He was a great competitor and teammate.”

For Hayden, Sunday marked the end of a brilliant racing career. Hayden announced his intention to retire from racing back in July. He raced professionally for 20 seasons. In 2006 he was named AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year and then in 2007 he won the AMA Supersport Championship.

“It was a tough weekend to focus, being pulled in every direction,” Hayden explained after Sunday’s race. “I was right there battling for a podium finish on Saturday and that felt good. Then I ran off the track in today’s race, but made a good charge back through the field. It was great to have so many family and friends from home here to be a part of this weekend.

“I’ve had a great career and I especially enjoyed racing for Yoshimura Suzuki. It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m done, but it probably will on Tuesday when everyone is doing the tire test and I’m home setting up a deer stand.”

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Don Sakakura was happy to end 2018 on a high note.

“It was a great way to end an up and down season,” Sakakura said. “We started so strong and then had some challenges in the middle of the season. But we rebounded and closed out the year on a positive note. The team plans to take this momentum and carry it into off-season testing and then into next year’s championship.”

In the 40th Anniversary season of the Suzuki and Yoshimura Superbike partnership, Suzuki reached a major milestone this year winning a record-setting 200th MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike victory in July. Elias added three more bringing the total to 203 all-time victories for Suzuki at the end of 2018.

MotoAmerica race team members lined pit wall to cheer Yoshimura Suzuki's Roger Hayden to the finish in his final race. Earlier this summer Hayden announced his retirement from racing after 20 years on the professional circuit. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

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For team media guide click here.

For additional information visit: www.motoamerica.com

You can keep up with the team’s progress by visiting 
yoshimura-racing.comand www.suzukicycles.com/Racing and via YouTube at www.youtube.com/SuzukiCycles

Team Yoshimura Suzuki is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&DSuzuki Motor of AmericaMotulDunlopTucker RockyTeam SuzukiShoraiSunstarMWR Racing FiltersNGK Spark PlugsRK Racing ChainZeta High Performance Products, and Chicken Hawk Racing.

About Suzuki: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors and Automotive Parts and Accessories 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.

About Yoshimura R&D of America: Yoshimura is “The Leader in Performance” and has been for more than 55 years. With unmatched skills, knowledge, and passion for racing, Yoshimura is on the forefront of the aftermarket exhaust industry. Yoshimura pipes are race bred and feature the same legendary performance, fit and quality that has been their trademark for more than five decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.

The Autotrader / Yoshimura / Suzuki Factory Racing Team and Chad Reed set to race the Monster Energy Cup

The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team announces that two-time 450 Supercross champion Chad Reed will contest the Monster Energy Cup on Saturday, October 13th. Reed will be racing a Suzuki RM-Z450 and vying for the $1 million bonus of winning the richest Supercross race in the sport.

Chad Reed contested the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship finale at Ironman Raceway for the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team. The 36-year-old holeshot a moto and finished 5-8 for eighth overall. Reed has since spent several weeks testing the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450 at JGRMX’s Supercross track in North Carolina. The Australian is in great form and very comfortable on the Suzuki RM-Z450. This led to the mutual decision between rider and team to contest the Monster Energy Cup. Fourth on the all-time Supercross wins list, with 44 main event victories, Reed is eager to make a statement on the hybrid-style Supercross track.

“My experience with the team at the Ironman National was awesome,” stated Reed. “The race went better than I personally thought it would, because I wasn’t in 100 percent race shape. I achieved my personal goals. Since that time, I have continued to work with the team and help test the Suzuki RM-Z450. I’m enjoying the bike and team. I am looking forward to racing the Monster Energy Cup.”

Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team manager Jeremy Albrecht is excited to continue working with one of the sport’s most decorated athletes. “Chad Reed has been outstanding to work with. He has proven to be a valued addition to our testing program with the Suzuki RM-Z450. I’m eager to see Reed race in Las Vegas, and I think we will turn heads. This should be fun.”

In addition to racing, Chad Reed will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans at the Suzuki display during the sixth annual AIMExpo, which will be held at Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay Convention Center. He will be joined by Weston Peick, who recently inked a contract extension with the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team for 2019.

Reed and Peick’s autograph sessions will be on Thursday, October 11th and Sunday, October 14th from 11:30am – 12:30pm at the Suzuki display. AIMExpo attendees will also be able to take a tour through the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team Transport (which will be indoors, adjacent to the Suzuki display) on Thursday, from 10am – 2pm.

Learn more information about the AIMExpo by visiting www.aimexpousa.com. Please check www.jgrmxraceteam.com for more team news.

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About Suzuki: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors and Automotive Parts and Accessories 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.

About Autotrader: Autotrader is the most visited third-party car shopping site, with the most engaged audience of in-market shoppers. As the foremost authority on automotive consumer insights and expert in online and mobile marketing, Autotrader makes the car shopping experience easy and fun for today's empowered consumer looking to find or sell the perfect new, used or Certified Pre-Owned car. Using technology, shopper insights and local market guidance, Autotrader's comprehensive marketing solutions guide dealers to personalized digital marketing strategies that grow brand, drive traffic and connect the online and in-store shopping experience. Autotrader is a Cox Automotive™ brand. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. For more information, please visit http://press.autotrader.com.

About JGRMX: Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX), based in Huntersville, NC, was founded in 2007 by Coy Gibbs, son of NFL Hall of Fame head coach and multi-time NASCAR Championship winning team owner Joe Gibbs. JGRMX competes in both the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series as well as the Monster Energy Supercross series with support from Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. aboard Suzuki RM-Z250 and RM-Z450 race machines.

About Yoshimura R&D of America: Yoshimura is “The Leader in Performance” and has been for more than 55 years. With unmatched skills, knowledge, and passion for racing, Yoshimura is on the forefront of the aftermarket exhaust industry. Yoshimura pipes are race bred and feature the same legendary performance, fit and quality that has been their trademark for more than five decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden and Toni Elias on the Podium in New Jersey

New Jersey Motorsports Park was drenched under the remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon, yet in spite of soaking conditions Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Hayden and Toni Elias both earned rostrum finishes in Sunday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race two. 

Hayden ran a steady race two on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike and finished runner up, earning his best result of the season. Elias made a come-from-behind charge running fifth in the early going, before rallying to finish third. It was a strong turnaround after Saturday’s rain race in New Jersey that saw Hayden finishing fourth and Elias crashing while trying to move up from third.

The 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship was clinched by Cameron Beaubier after winning Sunday’s race. Both Elias and Hayden congratulated Beaubier for his and his team’s excellent season. Going into the final round Elias remains second in the standings, while Hayden’s solid weekend moved him up to seventh.

“For me it was a great weekend,” said Hayden, who also qualified second in Superpole.”I took fourth yesterday, but didn’t really feel that comfortable on the bike. The team made some changes overnight and today my bike was a lot better. The track was slicker and more treacherous today, but we managed to finish second. I’m pretty excited because I haven’t been on the podium in awhile and it’s great, especially for my guys. 

“I’m looking forward to Barber. It’s my last race and tons of people from home are coming so I can’t wait.”

For Elias, his last hope of trying to chase down Beaubier in this year’s championship came to an end, but the 2017 MotoAmerica Champion is optimistic about winning back the No. 1 plate next season.

“I want to congratulate Cameron for a great season,” Elias said. “We had some great battles this year and he and his team really stepped up their level. I gave it my best to try to keep the championship alive yesterday. I was trying to gain another position to earn back more points on Cameron when I pushed too hard and crashed.Today we came back to the podium and it was great to be up there with Roger. 

“Now we will try to finish strong in the final race at Barber and then prepare to come back stronger than ever next season. I have a great team behind me and we will all be very motivated to try to win back this championship next year.”

The 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship wraps up with the final event in two weeks at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on September 21-23.

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For team media guide click here.

For additional information visit: www.motoamerica.com

You can keep up with the team’s progress by visiting 
yoshimura-racing.comand www.suzukicycles.com/Racing and via YouTube at www.youtube.com/SuzukiCycles

Team Yoshimura Suzuki is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&DSuzuki Motor of AmericaMotulDunlopTucker RockyTeam SuzukiShoraiSunstarMWR Racing FiltersNGK Spark PlugsRK Racing ChainZeta High Performance Products, and Chicken Hawk Racing.

About Suzuki: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors and Automotive Parts and Accessories 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.

About Yoshimura R&D of America: Yoshimura is “The Leader in Performance” and has been for more than 55 years. With unmatched skills, knowledge, and passion for racing, Yoshimura is on the forefront of the aftermarket exhaust industry. Yoshimura pipes are race bred and feature the same legendary performance, fit and quality that has been their trademark for more than five decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.

Roger Hayden scored his best MotoAmerica Superbike finish of the season Sunday at New Jersey Motorsports Park with a runner-up finish. Teammate Toni Elias (shown in the background) was right behind Hayden in third. (Brian J. Nelson photo)