Race weekends don’t get any better than what Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing experienced at Utah Motosports Complex (UMC) in MotoAmerica Superbike action in Tooele, Utah. Toni Elias swept the weekend, winning both legs of the event on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000, extending his series lead to 30 points. Teammate Roger Hayden finished runner-up in both rounds and won Superpole, breaking a longstanding MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike UMC track record in the process.
In testimony to the racing prowess of the new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000, this marked the fifth time this season that Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing has finished 1-2 in MotoAmerica Superbike.
Elias has now earned a series-leading six MotoAmerica Superbike victories in 2017.
His Utah clean sweep pushed his series lead to better than a full race’s worth of points. Elias has 210 points. Hayden, who now owns eight podium finishes in 2017, moved back into second in the standings with 180 points.
The weekend started off on a high note for the team when Hayden used the power and handling of the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 to break the MotoAmerica UMC track record in Superpole. Hayden’s pole-winning time of 1:48.941 eclipsed the old MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike lap record for the 3.048-mile Outer/Perimeter Course at UMC (formerly Miller Motorsports Park) of 1:49.167 set by Ben Spies in 2006, also on a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Then it was Elias’ turn to shine. He made up for a mistake in the first turn of race 1 on Saturday, which dropped him well back in the pack. From there the former world champion methodically worked his way through the field to earn a stunning come-from-behind victory. On Sunday, his victory came after battling with Hayden up front most of the way. He opening up a small gap on the final lap. Elias’ margins of victory were 2.461 seconds on Saturday and 0.459 seconds Sunday.
“I am so happy about this weekend,” Elias said after Sunday’s victory. “We won both races and the team did a great job with the bike. Yesterday I got so lucky after running off the track. I came back step by step, passed some riders, caught the lead group and won the race. Today I was there up front for the whole race. Two wins for the weekend was very important for the championship. We must continue like this.”
For Hayden, the track record was the highlight of the weekend.
“The record stood for a long time, so I’m really happy about that,” he said. “I’m proud of our performance. The team is working really hard and I’m looking forward to Laguna Seca.”
At the mid-point of the season, newly-redesigned 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 has won a total of seven of the 10 MotoAmerica Superbike races.
The series kicks off the second half of the season when it moves to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, on July 7-9 for the sixth of 10 MotoAmerica events.
For additional details on the upcoming event visit www.MotoAmerica.com
You can keep up with the team’s progress by visiting http://yoshimura-racing.com and http://www.suzukicycles.com/Racing/Road%20Racing.aspx and via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/SuzukiCycles.
Team Yoshimura Suzuki is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&D, Suzuki Motor of America, Motul, Tucker Rocky, Dunlop, Shorai, Sunstar, K&N Performance Filters, NGK Spark Plugs, RK Racing Chain, Chicken Hawk Racing and Zeta.
About Yoshimura R&D of America: Yoshimura is "The Leader in Performance" and has been for over 60 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 our trademark for six 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.