Photo Courtesy of Brown Dog Wilson
The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team ventured to U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN for round 14 of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series and what was the final “Triple Crown” event. Weston Peick took advantage of the three-main-event format to score a podium in the second main on his Suzuki RM-Z450 and capture sixth overall on an exciting evening. Teammate Malcolm Stewart logged the second quickest lap time in daytime qualifying and showed flashes of utter brilliance in the night program.
While a snowstorm plagued the Minneapolis area all day long, a vivacious crowd of 49,846 strong watched as Peick fought tooth and nail with serious contenders. At various points he passed established race winners and was running as high as second place before settling into third during the second main. Had it not been for a crash in the final main event Peick would have been spraying champagne in podium celebration as the evening concluded. He finished sixth overall in Minneapolis and sits sixth in the overall 450 championship standings.
There’s no denying the raw speed of the RM-Z450 mounted Stewart. The Haines City, Fla. native has improved throughout the Supercross series as a fill-in rider for the injured Justin Bogle. Stewart rode with conviction in securing the second-fastest qualifying time in the 450 class. Unfortunately, Lady Luck dealt the affable rider a bad hand once the gates dropped during the night show. At various points throughout the evening he was running inside the top ten, but crashes stymied his advance. Stewart finished 14th overall and is tenth in the 450 championship point standings.
Suzuki RM-Z250 rider Kyle Peters logged the sixth fastest time in the opening qualifying session for the 250 East class. The North Carolina local crashed in the treacherous snow while heading from the pits to the stadium for the second qualifying session and sustained an injury that kept him from racing. Peters is sixth in the 250 East championship standings.
Weston Peick [450 Class, 6th Place] – “I had an awesome night going in Minneapolis for the final Triple Crown round of the series. I went 5-3-11 for sixth overall. I was running third in the final main, but had an unfortunate crash that put me back. I’m looking forward to some more fun battles next weekend in Foxborough. Special thanks to my team. I want to finish off the series strong.”
Malcolm Stewart [450 Class, 14th Place] – “The bright spot was qualifying second fastest. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there. I felt flat when the night show came around. I had several crashes and didn’t help myself any. There are three rounds to go, and I’m excited to move forward and make a big impact in this series.”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 22nd Place] – “I’m extremely bummed about Minneapolis. I was riding well in the opening qualifying session and establishing a good flow on the track. Then, without warning, I crashed in the ice and snow on the way to the final qualifying session and injured my knee. I tried to suit up and race, but the pain was too much. Hopefully I receive good news about my condition and can line up for Foxborough this weekend.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “Peick rode great in the night program. He had an awesome day. He crashed twice in the final main event, but dug deep to finish 11th. It was great seeing Peick’s effort on Saturday. As for Stewart, he was feeling tired and not riding like himself in the night show. He qualified well, but he didn’t have any energy when it really counted. He crashed in the opening main, which seemed to take the wind out of his sails. The Triple Crown format doesn’t suit him, as there’s not much of a break in between the races.”
“Peters crashed on the way to the stadium for the final qualifying session. He hit a patch of ice and went down. He got tangled up in the bike and suffered a knee injury. Peters will visit the doctor early this week, get an MRI, and see what’s going on. He was in too much pain to race the night program.”
“The Triple Crown format is tough on the mechanics. Conversely, the format creates good racing. I would like the Triple Crown format more if Feld Motor Sports made all three main events the same length as the opening race. As for the weather, Minneapolis had way more snow than Indianapolis did a few weeks ago. It’s crazy how much snow fell!”
The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on Saturday, April 21st for round 15 of the series.
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.
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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.