JGRMX newcomer Alex Martin (#26) rode his Suzuki RM-Z250 to a strong 4th place finish.
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team began their trip east with strong finishes at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in round six of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Championship. Hometown hero and RM-Z250 rider, Alex Martin, kicked-off the first round of the 250 Eastern Regional Supercross series with an impressive fourth place while two-time 450 Supercross Champion Chad Reed continued his exceptional top-ten streak in the series, finishing seventh in the main event. 250 East teammate, Kyle Peters, got redemption at the same venue where a knee injury prematurely ended his 2018 season. Fully healthy now, Peters ended the evening in a solid top-ten spot.
In his first official race with the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team, Alex Martin had the all-new RM-Z250 dialed in. The Millville, Minnesota native was sixth-fastest in combined 250 qualifying and took second in his heat race. With a great jump out of the gate in the main event, Martin was with the lead pack all race long and was looking to card a podium finish until a rough pass by a fellow competitor on the last lap pushed “A-Mart” off the track relegating him to fourth. While disappointed, the team is confident that Martin has what it takes to run up front on the new machine.
Chad Reed (#22) rode his RM-Z450 up through the pack to secure another top-ten finish.
Chad Reed was eager to build momentum from his impressive fifth place finish at the prior San Diego round. Finishing in a top-ten position at every stadium stop thus far in the season, Reed continues to extend his hall of fame career and wow fans at every round. In Minnesota, the Australian qualified tenth-fastest and dug deep to push his way to a respectable seventh place finish in the stacked 450 main.
“Chad Reed was riding strong and the bike looked really good,” said Jeremy Albrecht, Team Manager. “He made some great passes in the main event and stayed strong the whole time. I’m definitely happy with his ride. Alex Martin was super fun to watch. I feel like we have good things coming from Martin. He was really aggressive in the first corner, which helped.”
Kyle Peters (#55) achieved his goal of finishing the Minneapolis round healthy with valuable 250 East Championship points.
After a knee injury ended his 2018 season, RM-Z250 rider Kyle Peters returns healthy for his second full season with the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team. The North Carolina native succeeded as he qualified fourth in his heat race and finished the night with a top-ten finish. Peters looks to build on his result in the upcoming rounds.
Justin Hill was unable to race Minneapolis, due to a rib injury sustained during the San Diego round. The team is monitoring Hill’s condition and will have an announcement on his return to racing the 450 class this week.
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, February 16th for the seventh round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. This will also serve as the second round of the 250 East Regional Supercross series.
Alex Martin [250 Class, 4th Place] – “Qualifying went pretty well. I was a tad too aggressive, but overall, I was very close to the leaders. You could basically throw a blanket over all of us. I was very comfortable on the bike. Jordan Smith and I had a really good pace going in the heat race. I had the fastest lap time out of both heat races, so I was happy with that. In the main event I got off to a great start and felt really good on the RM-Z250. Smith, Martin Davalos and I had a battle going. Unfortunately, Davalos and I came together and he went down. I apologized to him afterwards. I thought I had third in the bag, but a few lappers messed me up, which allowed Justin Cooper to set me up for the pass. It was a bummer to not finish on the podium, but to be honest, fourth is the best start I’ve ever had to a Supercross season. The goal was to get the first round out of the way. This was a great result to build off of.”
Chad Reed [450 Class, 7th Place] – “We made some great progress with the fork settings this past week. That carried over into the weekend, and helped contribute to my best qualifying result of the year. My speed and fitness are good, but I am frustrated with my starts. I’m not giving myself a fighting chance with track position being so important. It was a hard-fought seventh place. Honestly, it was my best ride of the season. I’ll continue to work on my starts and fork settings so that I get to that next level out of myself.”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 10th Place] – “The day was okay. I rode stiff and was fighting myself. The heat race went well, but I was tight. I had a bad start in the main event, didn’t breathe, and pumped up really badly. I was stuck behind a downed rider for a bit, which messed me up. The track was tough to pass on. You had to be aggressive. I know what I need to work on, but it was fun to be back behind the gate again.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “Obviously, we were bummed that Justin Hill wasn’t able to race. Hopefully he’s feeling better this week. Chad Reed qualified better than he has in prior rounds. He was riding strong and the bike looked really good. Reed made some great passes in the main event and stayed strong the whole time. I’m definitely happy with his ride.”
“Alex Martin was super fun to watch. He made some mistakes in the rhythm lane that cost him the podium. He had some jitters, but that was attributed to it being the opening round of the 250 East series. There’s definitely more in there than we saw on Saturday. I feel like we have good things coming from Martin. He was really aggressive in the first corner, which helped. Kyle Peters rode really well and had a good heat race. He was the only guy passing people on a track that was hard to pass. He improved in every race. Kyle wanted to get out of Minneapolis safely. I don’t blame him, because he blew out his knee at that stadium last year. Someone fell in front of Peters early on in the race, and he had to work his way back up. He didn’t get into the top-ten until the last lap. I feel like he’ll do better.”
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 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 65 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 their trademark for six decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.