Teammate Roger Hayden earns a pair of podium finishes
Chino, CA (June 27, 2016) – Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias scored his fifth MotoAmerica Superbike victory of the season Saturday in race two at Utah Motorsports Campus during round seven of the nine-round championship. His teammate Roger Hayden also turned in a strong outing in Utah, twice earning a spot on the rostrum with third-place finishes in both races.
Elias got the unique Thursday through Saturday weekend schedule started off on the positive side by earning his first MotoAmerica Superbike pole position of his debut season. He used the power of his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 to set a blistering 1:49.613 to lead a tightly knit group at the top heading into Saturday's two races. Elias credited a little help from a friend for his pole.
"I spoke with Carlos Checa who won here many times," Elias said of his fellow Spaniard. "He gave me some advice. He said I would enjoy this track and I am enjoying this track."
Hayden, who qualified third in Superpole, battled for the lead nearly the entire way in both races. He described the exciting conclusion of race two.
"The crew made a couple of little changes between races and it was definitely a little better so I have to thank them," Hayden said. "Toni was stronger than me in a couple of spots and I was better in the last section. I wanted to lead the last lap. I got a good run on my GSX-R and almost got under him and Cameron (Beaubier) got by both of us and I lost the front end a little bit on the brakes. It was just a seesaw on the last lap with everyone just going for it. I would have liked to have done better, but we got third today."
Elias ran into grip issues in the first race and finished fourth. He was able to refocus and turn it around in the second race. He found he had better grip and was able to take advantage, winning a scintillating last-lap battle to take victory.
"We put new tires on and my GSX-R was working perfect," Elias said of race two. "These guys are riding really strong and were pushing a lot, but I knew we could win this race. I am happy for the victory and also for my team, because they are working very hard to give me the best bike. The championship is not over yet. We will continue fighting to the end.”
Elias now goes to one of the few American circuits he’s had experience on, with the upcoming race at Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.
With the victory Elias moved into third in the MotoAmerica Superbike standings with only two weekends of racing to go. Elias is 26 points out of the series lead. Hayden is in fourth, just one point behind his Yoshimura Suzuki teammate.
Next up for Yoshimura Suzuki is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with the combined MotoAmerica/World Superbike Championship as the very best of the national and international Superbike racers invade the Monterey Peninsula, July 8-10th.
Team Yoshimura Suzuki is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&D, Suzuki Motor of America, Motorex, Dunlop, Parts Unlimited, Shorai, Sunstar, K&N Performance Filters, NGK Spark Plugs, RK Racing Chain, Kushitani, Zeta and Chicken Hawk Racing.
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.
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. SMAI’s supplier, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles and Outboard Motors. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has 147 distributors in 201 countries. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.