JGRMX / Yoshimura / Suzuki Factory Racing Report: Denver

Top-Ten Finishes for JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Riders in Denver

The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team was in Denver, Colorado this past weekend for round 15 of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, and the ninth stop of the 250 Western Regional Supercross Series. Suzuki RM-Z450 rider Justin Hill, along with Suzuki RM-Z250 riders Jimmy Decotis and Enzo Lopes, all improved their positions in the overall points standings. The trio finished inside the top-ten despite the frigid conditions.

 Jimmy Decotis fought through sickness to score another strong result on his Suzuki RM-Z250. After qualifying fourth-fastest in combined qualifying, “The Rippa” finished second in his heat race. With a favorable gate pick for the main, Decotis shot out to a top-five start and quickly moved up to third place in full attack mode. Unfortunately, the high altitude and lingering sickness sapped his energy. Decotis finished seventh but continued momentum as he recorded his sixth top-ten finish of the 250 West campaign.

 “It was cool to watch Jimmy race,” said Jeremy Albrecht, Team Manager. “He rode well all day. He wasn’t feeling great, but he was fast. He was strong in the main and had a good start.”

 Rookie Enzo Lopes was dealing with a freshly healed dislocated shoulder and tender wrist in Denver, yet he still lined up to the gate. After qualifying through the Last Chance Qualifier, Lopes cautiously rode to tenth place. The gutsy ride moved him up in the points standings and looking to take on the final challenge is Vegas.

“Lopes did a really good job, considering that he was racing with a cracked wrist,” said Albrecht. “He’s a super tough kid. I was happy to see him finish tenth, given the circumstances.”

 Justin Hill was dealing with a bulging disc in his lower back after misjudging a triple jump at the Nashville Supercross. He underwent extensive physical therapy this past week in an effort to race Denver and his hard work paid off. Hill put his Suzuki RM-Z450 in the main event, and proceeded to score his second top-ten of the year. As a result, Hill improved his position in the points standings.

 “I’m ultimately proud of my effort coming into Denver,” said Hill. “I put in a lot of work to get my lower back moving. I’m definitely riding in a lot of pain, but I’m getting through it. I feel like I will be better as soon as I’m back to 100 percent health.”

Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 7th Place] – “Denver was a fun weekend! We had some snow during the practice sessions, which was actually pretty cool and different to be riding in those conditions. I felt like I was back home in New England. When the night show came around, the weather was awesome. I started with a second in my heat race and rode well. I had a good start in the main event, but I struggled to keep the lead pace. The track was very hard pack and challenging. Thanks to Buddy Antunez and Jeremy Albrecht for keeping my spirits high. I’m really hard on myself, so it’s nice to have a support team to keep me positive. I’m looking to end the season strong at Las Vegas.”

Enzo Lopes [250 Class, 10th Place] – “It was snowing so much in the first qualifying session. There’s a first time for everything! All things considered, finishing tenth was good. I was happy to line up with my injuries. The doctor said I needed six weeks to heal, and I stayed off the bike for two weeks. I was happy to qualify pretty well and mix it up. I made a mistake after the whoops and went down in the heat race, so I had to go to the LCQ. I got a good start and rode smooth and saved energy for the main. In the main, my gate pick was really far outside and I had a rough start. I was running 11th or 12th for a while and moved into 10th place. I thought I had another lap left to catch the guys in front of me, but then the race ended. Racing with a broken wrist isn’t easy. I won’t lie, it’s hurting! Still, I’m up for the challenge and ready for Vegas.”

Justin Hill [450 Class, 10th Place] – “I’m ultimately proud of my effort coming into Denver. I put in a lot of work to get my lower back moving. I’m definitely riding in a lot of pain, but I’m getting through it. I feel like I will be better for that, as soon as I’m back to 100 percent health!”

Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “It was cool to watch Jimmy Decotis race. He rode well all day. He wasn’t feeling great, but he was fast. Every time he went out you could tell he wasn’t feeling well. He was strong in the main and had a good start, but he made several mistakes. Fortunately, he regrouped at the end. Enzo Lopes did a really good job, considering that he was racing with a cracked wrist. He’s a super tough kid. I was happy to see him finish tenth, given the circumstances.”

 “Justin Hill ended up with a top-ten finish. It was an improvement over last week when he hurt his back. Hopefully he will heal up more during the break and come out strong in New Jersey. Chad Reed was on hand doing autographs, and the crowd was happy to see him. It was cool to be racing in a new town. The weather was crazy, with all of the snow during practice. The weather made the racing fun and different. Our Suzuki bikes ran really well in the high altitude. In fact, Jimmy Decotis was the only 250 rider to do a triple in the main event that only the 450 guys could do.”

 The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will take a week off before traveling to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 27th for the 16th round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. This will also serve as the eighth round of the 250 East Regional Supercross series.

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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 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 65 years. With unmatched skills, knowledge, and passion for racing, Yoshimura is on the forefront of the aftermarket. Yoshimura exhaust systems are race bred and feature the same legendary performance, fit, and quality that has been their trademark for six decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.

Epic Weekend for Yoshimura Suzuki at COTA

Josh Herrin scored his first MotoAmerica Superbike victory of 2019 on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. Here he celebrates his Sunday victory. Toni Elias was second, giving Yoshimura Suzuki a 1-2 finish. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

The team wins both MotoAmerica Superbike races and Superpole

You couldn’t have written a better script for Suzuki in the combined MotoGP/MotoAmerica weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. At the biggest motorcycle racing event in America, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing came away with all of the first-place trophies, winning both MotoAmerica Superbike races as well as Superpole. 

Icing on the cake came in the form of Suzuki also winning the MotoGP race, with Alex Rins, giving Suzuki a clean sweep of all races it participated in this weekend.

Toni Elias got the Texas party started by winning MotoAmerica Superpole aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. He then followed up with a thrilling victory in Superbike Race One on Saturday, with a last-lap, last-turn pass on rival Cameron Beaubier, bringing the crowd to their feet.

Then on Sunday’s Superbike Race Two it was Yoshimura Suzuki finishing 1-2, with newest team member Josh Herrin breaking through to score his first win of the season. Elias was second.

All of that winning added up to Elias extending his series lead to 13 points after four races in the 20-race series. Herrin rocketed up from ninth to third in the standings after collecting a huge cache of points in Sunday’s victory.

“It was just a great weekend for Yoshimura Suzuki,” said team president Don Sakakura. “It was good to see Josh to get his first win with the team, I’m certain more will come. And for Toni to win Saturday’s race and finish second Sunday, it’s just one of those weekends where everything came together with the performance of the bike and the riders.”

A roar came up from the crowd on Saturday with Elias’ daring pass in the final corner heading to the checkered flag. It marked his second win of the season, and his sixth victory in seven starts at COTA dating back to 2016.

“It is amazing, two wins and two seconds,” Elias said of his 2019 campaign so far. “Our consistency is good. Saturday’s race was one that was fun for the fans. Cameron [Beaubier] was so strong, but I was able to get back by him in the last corner and hold on to the victory. Today we finished second even though we had a minor issue, so I am happy with the results. We’ve added to our championship lead and you cannot ask for more. Overall a very good weekend.”

Herrin was incredibly excited to get his first win of 2019. It was a tremendous comeback from the troubles he experienced just a week ago at Road Atlanta.

“I didn’t expect it to feel this good,” Herrin said of Sunday’s victory. “I mean I have seven Superbike wins, but this one feels way different. I’m happy to get a win for Suzuki. We took two wins in MotoAmerica and the win in MotoGP, so it’s something super special.”

Yoshimura Suzuki heads back east to Virginia International Raceway for round three of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in Alton, Virginia, on May 4-5. You can watch the action on Fox Sports 2 and special behind-the-scenes views of the series on NBCSN. Check your local listings for showtimes.

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.com and www.suzukicycles.com/Racing and via YouTube at www.youtube.com/SuzukiCycles

Superbike Racing Legend Mat Mladin Coming to COTA

Mat Mladin in action.

Mat Mladin in action.

Rare Visit by Seven-Time Champion Another Reason to Attend MotoGP/MotoAmerica Weekend

Mat Mladin, seven-time AMA Superbike Champion, pictured here in 2007, will be on hand for this weekend’s big MotoGP/MotoAmerica event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Mat Mladin, seven-time AMA Superbike Champion, pictured here in 2007, will be on hand for this weekend’s big MotoGP/MotoAmerica event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Mat Mladin, the seven-time AMA Superbike Champion who won all his titles racing for Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing, will be on hand for this weekend’s big MotoGP/MotoAmerica event at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Fans will have the opportunity to meet with Mladin and have autographs signed at the Yoshimura Suzuki pits inside the MotoAmerica paddock.

Mladin holds just about every record in MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike racing history, including the most championships (7), most wins (83) and poles (50). He was also a major safety advocate during his racing days and successfully pushed the series to adopt higher safety standards. Mladin has only been back once to attend a race in America since retiring from racing in 2009 and moving back to his native Australia.

Mladin is coming to America to have an old ankle injury repaired and decided to make a few stops along the way, including COTA, as well as a visit with motocross legend and fellow pilot Bob Hannah.

“It's going to be good to get back into the paddock this weekend at COTA,” Mladin said. “It’s been a long time and I’m looking forward to seeing friends from my racing days. After the race weekend we will be Idaho bound to catch up with my old friend Bob Hannah and maybe kick his butt a little from the pilot’s seat in the back country.

“From there I head back to California to have my ankle fused by a surgeon that fixed me many times back in the day, my friend Dr. Thomas Bryan.”

Mladin said he also has a visit to the Yoshimura R&D race shop planned before returning home.

These days Mladin is giving back to the sport by helping out a couple of young Australian racers, Max Croker in road racing and Kaleb Barham in motocross.

“I’ve worked closely with Max in road racing and in our first year as a team we finished third in the Australian 600cc Supersport Championship taking a race win along the way. Our bikes are built by Max's dad in their double garage at home. I help Max with his training and coaching and I crew chief at the track. Last year I also supported young Kaleb Barham in the Australian Motocross Championship, MX2 class. This year Kaleb is racing in the same class and looking to improve his overall results. I've enjoyed the role and look forward to the future.”

While here Mladin said he plans to explore opportunities for his riders to race in America.

“We’re happy that Mat is taking the time on his trip back to the U.S. to visit with us and his fans at the COTA event,” said President of Yoshimura Racing Don Sakakura. “He certainly set the standard by which all other riders in this series are compared and we are proud to have him part of the Yoshimura Suzuki family.”

The combined MotoGP weekend at COTA is round two of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias leads the series coming into this weekend’s races.

For additional information on the races this weekend in Austin visit www.motoamerica.com or www.motogp.com.

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.com and www.suzukicycles.com/Racing and via YouTube at www.youtube.com/SuzukiCycles

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