Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) today is proud to announce the signing of riders Roger Lee Hayden and Toni Elias to the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team. Hayden and Elias will contest the 2017 MotoAmerica AMA Superbike Championship aboard the all-new GSX-R1000.
Hayden, a long time GSX-R racer, is excited to extend his relationship with Suzuki for yet another year. The Owensboro, Kentucky rider logged twelve podium finishes, including two race-wins, during the 2016 season, and he looks forward to campaigning the legendary GSX-R1000 into championship contention in 2017. Elias, who joined Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing last season, raced the GSX-R1000 to six first-place finishes in 2016, securing third place overall in the series. A former Moto2 World Champion, Elias is no stranger to winning and looks forward to putting the all-new GSX-R1000 on the top step of the box in 2017.
“We are very happy to have both Roger and Toni back with Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing,” said Pat Alexander, Race Support Manager for SMAI. “With these two rider’s piloting our radically new GSX-R1000, we have high hopes for a championship. They both rode the new bike and were thoroughly impressed with the improved engine and chassis performance, even in its stock form, so we are hopeful that this will give them the edge needed to secure a championship this coming season.”
“After a very competitive season last year, we are excited to have these two great talents back for another year of racing,” said Don Sakakura, Senior Vice President for Yoshimura Research and Development of America, Inc. “Roger and Toni made great progress with the team last year, and we are hopeful that the new GSX-R1000 will prove to be a winning combination for them in 2017.”
The Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team will make its debut at the 2017 MotoAmerica AMA Superbike Official Test March 28-29 at Circuit of the Americas.