Autotrader / Yoshimura / Suzuki Factory Racing Team Report: Unadilla National

Weston Peick_Unadilla National.jpg

Photos Courtesy of Brown Dog Wilson

The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team traveled to the famed Unadilla circuit in New Berlin, New York for round 10 of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Mother Nature unleashed her fury, with a massive rainstorm creating a deluge for the racers. The muddy conditions didn’t slow Weston Peick, who scored another top-ten finish. Teammate Justin Hill was racing with a tender knee, but looked great in practice. However, he re-injured his knee in the first moto and had to call it an early day. In the 250 ranks, Enzo Lopes looked
comfortable in the messy conditions. The Brazilian nearly matched his career-best moto finish in the opening race. However, he was unable to contest the second moto.

Rain, sleet, snow or sunny skies apparently won’t affect the outcome for Weston Peick, who gives it his all regardless of the weather. The 27-year-old is a force to be reckoned with. Slogging through the muck of Unadilla, the Southern California native remained consistent in powering his Suzuki RM-Z450 inside the top ten. His 9-8 moto scores for eighth overall stretched his top-ten streak to ten straight Nationals. In fact, he is one of only six 450 riders to score points in every single moto. Peick sits firmly in sixth place overall with two rounds remaining.

It was a miracle that Justin Hill was able to line up for Unadilla. The Yoncalla, Oregon native sustained a knee injury during the second moto at Washougal two weekends ago when he went off course and hit a tree. Hill pushed aside the pain and looked for another breakout ride on the Suzuki RM-Z450. He qualified eighth and gated well in the first moto. Then, without warning, he caught his injured knee in a rut and had to retire for the day. Hill hopes to race the Budds Creek National. He sits 11 th in the overall standings.

Enzo Lopes was looking forward to his first full-blown mud race. The rookie cut his teeth riding in slick conditions in his home country of Brazil. Lopes looked great on the historic track, making passes and cutting lines in sections even the most aggressive riders would dare not take. Unfortunately, a first lap crash in the first moto mired him midway through the pack. He dug deep and finished 14 th . Lopes was unable to race the second moto after a bike malfunction, which will be diagnosed and rectified this week.

Weston Peick [450 Class, 9-8 for 8 th Place] – “Unadilla reminded me of the second moto at Unadilla last year, where we got a ton of rain and it was very challenging. I tried my best and got out of there pretty happy, considering that I don’t have a lot of experience in those types of conditions. I’m sixth in the points standings, and I like Budds Creek, so I’m excited to do the press day and get more track time in.”

Enzo Lopes [250 Class, 14-40 for 17 th Place] – “It was gnarly. In the first practice, I didn’t feel the best. We headed out for qualifying and I felt good. It kept raining harder and harder. As soon as we got on the gate for the first moto it was a complete mud fest. I had a good start, but before the Skyshot I ended up crashing. My helmet was so heavy that I could barely see and breathe! Between the motos we had an issue with the bike, and I couldn’t race the second moto. That’s how it goes sometimes. We will come back stronger for Budds Creek this next weekend.”

Justin Hill [450 Class, 39-DNF for 44 th Place] – “I felt good in qualifying. Unfortunately, I caught my previously injured leg in a rut in the first moto and that was it. I had to sit out the rest of the day. My goal is to work hard this week to get the swelling out of my knee and line up for Budds Creek. I have to give a big ‘Thank you’ to my team!”

Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “Between the rain in Unadilla and the Seattle Supercross, along with snow at the Indianapolis and Minneapolis Supercross rounds, Mother Nature hasn’t been kind to us this year. Still, we’re making headway and proving ourselves. Weston Peick continues to show that he’s not going to give up, even though his wrist is bothering him. Justin Hill worked hard to get better during the break, but then he stuck his leg in a rut in the first moto and tweaked it. Hopefully he will be ready for Budds Creek. Enzo Lopes had a solid ride in the first moto. There was a small bike problem that we’re going to fix this week so that it doesn’t happen again. Rain races are always crazy, and this weekend wasn’t any different!”

The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will head to the Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, Maryland for the penultimate round of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on Saturday, August 18 th . Please visit 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 Toni Elias Takes Two Podiums in Sonoma

 Fans graciously let Roger Hayden know just how much they thought of him in Sonoma, as the popular rider raced his final event at the Northern California circuit. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

Fans graciously let Roger Hayden know just how much they thought of him in Sonoma, as the popular rider raced his final event at the Northern California circuit. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias tallied a solid weekend in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship racing at Sonoma Raceway. Elias raced his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a pair of podium finishes with a third in Saturday’s race one, then improving to finish runner up in Sunday’s race. 

In his last race in Sonoma, fellow Yoshimura Suzuki rider Roger Hayden nailed down two top-10 finishes, with a sixth and seventh at the doubleheader weekend in the heart of Northern California wine country.

Elias got great starts and battled up front all weekend, but ultimately no one could match the pace of series leader Cameron Beaubier, who won both races.

“We came away with a couple of podium finishes and found improvements with the bike in Sunday’s race,” said Elias, the defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion. “Cameron has a fantastic feeling for this track and he is riding the best I’ve seen since I’ve been here. 

“Obviously I would like to get the feeling for the bike I had earlier in the season, but sometimes you do not have it and this is where we are at the moment. We will continue to work hard to find solutions and my goal is to get back to winning races so that we might be able to apply a little pressure on the competition.”

For Hayden the Sonoma weekend was bittersweet. He was racing in his first event since announcing his retirement from racing at the end of this season. He was overwhelmed by the well wishes he received from fans, but was not satisfied with his results on the track. He experienced arm pump in both races.

“For whatever reason I’ve never got along with this track and that carried over to this weekend,” Hayden said. “But on the positive side I was taken aback by the warmth of fans here. They were so thoughtful in telling me how they followed my career and how they wished me well as I move on to the next stage in my life. For that alone I’ll always have a good memory of my last race here. “

“Now we move on to Pittsburgh. I had pretty good luck there last year, so I’m hoping to find it again this time around.”

Elias remains second in the series after 14 of 20 races. He is 63 points behind Beaubier. Hayden moved up a position from ninth to eighth in the MotoAmerica Superbike standings. 

Next up for Yoshimura Suzuki is the Championship of Pittsburgh, MotoAmerica round eight scheduled for August 24-26 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. For ticket information visit  www.MotoAmerica.com. You can also watch all the action televised on beIN Sports.

 Yoshimura Suzuki's Toni Elias scored a pair of podiums at the Sonoma Raceway MotoAmerica Superbike weekend. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

Yoshimura Suzuki's Toni Elias scored a pair of podiums at the Sonoma Raceway MotoAmerica Superbike weekend. (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.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden Announces Retirement

 Roger Hayden, the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing standout and former AMA Supersport Champion has announced his intention of retiring from professional racing at the end of this season. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

Roger Hayden, the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing standout and former AMA Supersport Champion has announced his intention of retiring from professional racing at the end of this season. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

Former AMA Supersport Champion Calling It a Career After 20 Years as a Pro

Roger Hayden, the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing standout and former AMA Supersport Champion has announced his intention of retiring from professional racing at the end of this season. Hayden, the youngest of the world-famous Hayden brothers, has been a leading racer for nearly all of his 20 seasons as a professional. Suzuki and Hayden are exploring ways he might stay involved in the sport after this part of his career is completed.

“This is not something I’ve decided lightly,” Roger explained. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while. I’ve been going to races on the weekends since I was nine and I just thought it was the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life. I want to spend more time with my wife and maybe do some traveling and start a family at some point soon.

“Yoshimura and Suzuki have felt like a family to me. Don (Sakakura) and Pat (Alexander) are more like friends to me than a boss. We talk about life, sports, you name it and it’s just been a pleasure to be part of the team. I’ve had some of my greatest success with Yoshimura Suzuki and the entire team has always worked hard at giving me great motorcycles to race.

“I would like to stay involved in racing in some way. I enjoy working with the young riders coming up and we’ll see what the future holds.”

Hayden followed in the footsteps of his older brothers Tommy and Nicky into the professional racing ranks as both flat track and road racers. Like Roger, both Tommy and Nicky spent time racing for Suzuki.

The massive success enjoyed by all three Haydens made them perhaps the best-known brother trio in the history of motorcycle racing. An entire generation of fans grew up watching and rooting for the Hayden brothers. Perhaps the highlight of their career as a racing family, was when Nicky, Tommy and Roger swept the podium at the 2002 Springfield TT AMA Grand National. It marked the first and only time in the long history the AMA Grand National Championship that brothers completed a podium sweep.

 Roger Hayden has been part of Yoshimura Suzuki since 2014. To date his career MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike win total stands at seven. Roger is coming off his most successful season of MotoAmerica Superbike racing in a long and successful career. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

Roger Hayden has been part of Yoshimura Suzuki since 2014. To date his career MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike win total stands at seven. Roger is coming off his most successful season of MotoAmerica Superbike racing in a long and successful career. (Brian J. Nelson photo)

Roger grew up in a racing family in Owensboro, Kentucky. Both his father and mother (Earl and Rose) raced as well as his two sisters Kathleen and Jenny. Roger entered his first race at the age of six and was already a nationally-known rider by the time he turned pro in 1999 due to the fact that he’d won a lot of races in the amateur ranks in both flat track and road racing.  Roger also earned the prestigious AMA Horizon Award in 1998 when he was just 15.

Roger launched his professional road racing career in 1999 at the age of 16. He showed amazing potential even as a rookie when he scored an impressive fifth-place result in the AMA 750cc Supersport race at Road Atlanta. From there his results continued to grow ever more impressive with each season. He scored his first AMA 750 Superstock podium finish at age 17. His first two seasons racing as a pro road racer were aboard Suzuki GSX-Rs.

In 2006 he was named AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year and then in 2007 he won the AMA Supersport Championship.

In 2011 Roger returned to the Suzuki camp, racing Superbike for National Guard Jordan Suzuki. In 2012 he scored his first AMA Pro Superbike victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Jordan squad.

Roger has been part of Yoshimura Suzuki since 2014. To date his career MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike win total stands at seven. Roger is coming off his most successful season of MotoAmerica Superbike racing in a long and successful career. He was title contender much of the 2017 season. Along the way he stood on the rostrum 15 times in the 18-race series, scoring three victories. Hayden secured second in the championship, giving the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 a 1-2 result in the machine’s debut season. In addition, Roger earned seven Superpoles in 2017, a season best in the championship.

Besides his success in the American championships, Roger also enjoyed racing on the world championship level as wildcard rider in MotoGP and Moto2 and as a regular in World Superbike in 2010.

“We are honored to have Roger as part of the Suzuki racing family,” said Suzuki race support manager, Pat Alexander. “He set a standard of excellence and hard work throughout his career and he’s been a great asset for Suzuki. We hope to continue working with Roger into the future.”

Yoshimura Suzuki Racing’s president Don Sakakura is similarly happy with his team’s association with Roger.

“The Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Team has been privileged the past four-and-a-half seasons to work along-side Roger,” Sakakura said. “Our team has evolved over the years as a result of Roger’s competitive dedication, and his racing spirt. 20 seasons of professional road racing is an impressive accomplishment. Equally, I respect Roger for his integrity and his core family values, we’ve all enjoyed the company of the Hayden family for countless years. We all wish Roger the very best as he transitions to his next phase in life. Thanks for the amazing memories Roger!”

Fans will have the opportunity to watch Roger race and to see him during fan walks in the remaining four rounds of the 2018 MotoAmerica Series. Next up is the Championship of Sonoma (California) at Sonoma Raceway on Aug. 10-12.

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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.