Noren and Martin Finish Season Within Top-Ten
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team traveled to Crawfordsville, Indiana for the final round of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at Ironman Raceway this past weekend. Fill-in rider Fredrik Noren proved himself during the last seven rounds of the series, grabbing nearly all top-ten finishes and a career-best in the final standings on his Suzuki RM-Z450. Alex Martin displayed a strong 250 National debut on his Suzuki RM-Z250 finishing sixth overall while teammate Kyle Peters continued to make improvements despite several injuries. Enzo Lopes strung together consistent results in only his second National of the season.
Fredrik Noren joined the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team mid-season as fill-in for injured Justin Hill and instantly showed comfort and control on his RM-Z450. With nearly all top-ten finishes, the Swede was immediately in contention as a top-ten rider. Noren fought hard to give it his all during the series finale and secured eighth overall in the 450 National points standings, a career-best finish.
“I’m happy to earn eighth overall in the points standings,” said Noren. “I know that I have more potential in me, so I’m looking forward to the future. I want to give a big thanks to the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team for taking me in and giving me their best, as well as the best equipment in the world! I am super excited to have been given the chance.”
Making his Suzuki RM-Z250 motocross debut this year, Martin progressed throughout the series earning five individual moto podiums and one second overall place finish. At Ironman, Martin mounted one last charge in an effort to score another National win. Although he had a couple late jumps out of the gate, Martin pushed through the pack and scored two top-ten finishes. A-Mart concluded the series in sixth overall and is looking to build off the momentum next season.
“I was bummed about my start in the first moto,” said Martin. “Oddly enough, it was the best I felt in a first moto all year. My start was better in the second, but I struggled to find a flow and seek out good lines. I finished sixth overall in the points standings. There are lots of positives to take into next year!”
Team Manager Jeremy Albrecht added, “I think Alex will be better next year. He likes the bike and the team. We’re in good spot heading into 2020 with him.”
Kyle Peters pulled a massive holeshot in the first moto on his RM-Z250 and led his first lap of the season. Peters was eager to record a career-best finish, but wasn’t able to follow through. The North Carolina native showed improvements during each round of the outdoor series and is ready to come out stronger next year.
Brazil’s Enzo Lopes returned to racing at Budds Creek and was looking to improve at the series finale. With only two rounds under his belt, ‘The Kid’ was moving forward in both motos and showed promise.
Chris Wheeler, Suzuki’s MX Support Manager commented on the season. “We dealt with a lot of adversity in terms of rider injuries this season. Despite that, JGR mounted a solid effort resulting in two team riders finishing in the top-ten. A-Mart earned an overall podium finish and several moto podiums while the rest of the team grabbed multiple holeshots, led laps, and was in the mix all season long. We appreciate JGR’s efforts in representing the Suzuki brand.”
Fredrik Noren [450 Class, 10-10 for 10th Place] – “It was a decent last race of the season for me, considering that I’m struggling with an injured shoulder. I was able to ride okay in both motos and finish tenth overall for the day. I’m happy to earn eighth overall in the points standings. I know that I have more potential in me, so I’m looking forward to the future. I want to give a big thanks to the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team for taking me in and giving me their best, as well as the best equipment in the world! I am super excited to have been given the chance.”
Alex Martin [250 Class, 6-8 for 6th Place] – “Indiana was a solid weekend. I had decent speed in the morning qualifying practice sessions. I was bummed about my start in the first moto. I completely butchered it! Oddly enough, it was the best I felt in a first moto all year. I charged up to sixth place. My start was better in the second moto, but I struggled to find a flow and seek out good lines. I finished sixth overall in the points standings. There are lots of positives to take into next year!”
Enzo Lopes [250 Class, 19-18 for 17th Place] – “I really liked the track layout this year. It developed well as the day wore on. I felt solid in practice and had a good mentality going into the motos. I struggled to find a rhythm in the early laps of the first moto, but found a better pace in the late stages. I had an okay start in the second moto and battled with some fast guys. Then, about halfway through the moto, my body shut down. I didn’t have any strength in my legs or arms. That shouldn’t have happened, because I train really hard. All I can do now is put my head down and focus on 2020. I’m grateful that the team was able to help me race the final two Nationals. We deserved better results than what I achieved, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. ‘The Kid’ never gives up. I’ll be back!”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 17-24 for 20th Place] – “It was a great feeling to grab a big holeshot in the first moto and lead the pack for a lap. The pace didn’t seem too crazy for me, but obviously the title contenders were going fast. While running third I twisted my knee and dropped back. It was the same knee I had surgery on last year, so obviously I was immediately worried. The season coming to a conclusion is happening at a good time, because I need to let my body recover from some lingering issues.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “There were a few highlights from Ironman. Kyle Peters holeshot the first moto and pulled away for a little bit. Unfortunately, he twisted his knee while running third and he dropped back. His knee swelled up and he had a difficult time with the track after that. Alex Martin had a really good first moto. He didn’t get a very good start, but he moved through the pack quickly. He got a better start in the second moto, but he wasn’t gaining ground as fast as we would have liked. I think Alex will be better next year. He likes the bike and the team. We’re in good spot heading into 2020 with him. Enzo Lopes had two decent motos, but like I have said before, it’s tough for any rider to come back late in the season.”
“Freddie Noren did an awesome job of filling in on the RM-Z450 this summer. He finished eighth overall in the series, which was a positive. Freddie had a banged up shoulder the last two rounds, and he was struggling with tenderness and pain. Still, he tried hard and finished tenth at Ironman. I’m sure that he’s happy to have some time off to let his shoulder heal up.”
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.