RM-Z250 rider Alex Martin leads the Suzuki charge outside the Mile High City
Photo Credit Brown Dog Wilson
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team traveled to Thunder Valley Raceway in Lakewood, Colorado this past weekend for round three of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. The mile-high altitude and a severe afternoon thunderstorm combined to make Thunder Valley the most grueling race of the young season. Suzuki RM-Z250 rider Alex Martin struggled to find comfort and finished just outside the top ten. Teammate Kyle Peters overcame a nagging injury to score valuable points. In the 450 class, full-time rookie Justin Hill persevered despite several rear brake malfunctions to finish 12th overall.
Two-time 250 National series runner-up Alex Martin was looking to repeat his second moto heroics from the Hangtown opener, where the Minnesota native finished second. Martin rounded the first turn in ninth and held that position as lightning caused an early end to the first moto. The 29-year-old showed glimpses of the raw outdoor speed he is known for, but eventually crossed the line in 12th place. His 9-12 scores placed him 12th overall.
Martin assessed his weekend, stating, “I was excited all week to race Thunder Valley, as I had been on the podium there the last three years and have good vibes with the track. Qualifying was better this week, with being fourth-fastest in the first practice and tenth in combined times. Unfortunately, the motos didn’t go well at all. We have some work to do to be competitive with the top guys.”
Justin Hill came into Thunder Valley with renewed expectations after scoring his best result of the season the prior weekend in California. The Oregon native qualified fourth-fastest in the opening session, but slipped back to tenth in combined qualifying as the track conditions changed. Despite a dismal midpack start in the first moto, Hill fought up to 12th position. He made slight improvements in the second moto to earn 11th place. His 12-11 scores were good enough for 11th overall.
“I’m not happy with my results from Thunder Valley,” stated Hill. “I’m bummed out, because I felt like it was my day. I had good speed early on. I somehow didn’t have any rear brake either moto, which made things difficult. However, I rode through it and I feel good about my effort.”
It was a miracle that Suzuki RM-Z250 rider Kyle Peters could even race Thunder Valley, much less score National points. After injuring his lower back the prior weekend at Fox Raceway, Peters underwent intensive rehab in hopes of racing. The effort paid off. Kyle battled to 18th place in the first moto and 20th in the second moto, for 20th overall on the day.
Alex Martin [250 Class, 12-9 for 12th Place] – “I was excited all week to race Thunder Valley, as I had been on the podium there the last three years and have good vibes with the track. Qualifying was better this week, with being fourth-fastest in the first practice and tenth in combined times. Unfortunately, the motos didn’t go well at all. We have some work to do to be competitive with the top guys.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 12-11 for 12th Place] – “I’m not happy with my results from Thunder Valley. I’m bummed out, because I felt like it was my day. I had good speed early on. I somehow didn’t have any rear brake either moto, which made things difficult. However, I rode through it and I feel good about my effort.”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 18-20 for 20th Place] – “I knew that Thunder Valley was going to be tough. After hurting my back the weekend before, I spent a lot of time getting therapy on my back in preparation for the race. Colorado was a struggle. I earned points, but I’m not racing just to get a few points. I’m capable of so much more. Thankfully, I have a weekend off to give my back a rest.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “We had a tough day in Colorado. All of the guys didn’t have very good starts, which meant that they had to dig deep and battle hard every moto for positions. Justin Hill, Alex Martin and Kyle Peters will all be in North Carolina this week, which will be good. We are going to put in the effort to be much better at Mt. Morris. All in all, Colorado wasn’t all bad, but as a team we expect more favorable results.”
There will be a one week break before the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team visits High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania on Saturday, June 15th. This will serve as the fourth round of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
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.