JGRMX / Yoshimura / Suzuki Factory Racing Report: Glendale Supercross

Photos Courtesy of Brown Dog Wilson

The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team traveled to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona for round two of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series. For the team, there were many positive takeaways from a day full of action. Justin Hill set the fastest qualifying time on his Suzuki RM-Z450. Teammate Chad Reed brought the crowd to their feet when the Australian charged up to second place in his heat race. In the 250 West class, Jimmy Decotis logged lightning-fast laps and finished inside the top-five. Rookie Enzo Lopes capitalized on a difficult situation by winning the last chance qualifier.

Jimmy Decotis rode his Suzuki RM-Z250 at a high level in Glendale, setting the fourth-fastest qualifying time. He holeshot his heat race, led for over a lap, and settled into second. The Massachusetts native ended the main event in fifth place. Decotis now sits sixth in the 250 West points standings.

Justin Hill unleashed the fastest qualifying lap in the 450 class, earning the top seed heading into the night program. Hill finished seventh in his heat race after battling with many of the sport’s veterans. The Oregon native came through the first turn of the main event inside the top-five but was pushed off the track. Hill remounted, dug deep, and charged through the field up to 13th. He is currently 14th in the 450 class points standings.

Two-time Supercross Champion Chad Reed showed veteran poise by methodically picking off riders in his heat race and finishing second. Reed rode with consistency in the main event and was on the cusp of finishing inside the top-ten. The Australian finished 14th in the main event and sits 12th in the points standings.

Rookie Enzo Lopes qualified inside the top-ten heading into the night show for the 250 class and was running fifth place in his heat race. Unfortunately, a bike malfunction forced him to the last chance qualifier, which he won. Lopes was in a good position to press forward in the main until several crashes relegated him to 21st. Lopes is 17th in the points standings after the first two rounds of the 250 West Championship.

Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 5th Place] – “There were good improvements at Glendale. My Suzuki RM-Z250 was working really well all day long. I felt like I had the starts dialed in. I’m really comfortable on my bike right now and feeling fast. I’m ready to head back to Anaheim and drop the gate on the three main events for the Triple Crown. I want to give a big shout-out to my whole team for all of the work this weekend. We are having fun, and I’m confident better results will come!”

Justin Hill [450 Class, 13th Place] – “As frustrated as I am with the main event finish, I can take a couple positives out of the day. I was fastest overall in the daytime qualifying sessions, and I had a really good start in the main. Unfortunately, I crashed soon after that and was in last place. Fixing those little mistakes will be the difference for me.”

Chad Reed [450 Class, 14th Place] – “Glendale was a really positive day, and the heat race was special. The team did a great job of helping me find a feeling that I’ve been chasing. This helped massively throughout the whole weekend. The main was disappointing, but I’m focused on the feeling we found, and I’m looking forward to a solid week ahead. Video replay shows what I’m doing wrong on my starts, so I’ll look to correct that before Anaheim 2.”

Enzo Lopes [250 Class, 21st Place] – “The heat race was going okay. I wasn’t flowing very well, because I was trying too hard. There was a bike issue, but the guys got things turned around quickly. I didn’t get the best start in the last chance qualifier, but I won the race and got experience leading a professional Supercross. My gate pick was really far outside for the main and the rut in front of the gate was not optimal, but I had a good jump. I was running around tenth, but I crashed after the whoops. Then I crashed again a few laps later and messed up my clutch lever, which caused me to call it an early night. I’m learning a lot. The speed is there. Now I just need to put it all together.”  

 Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “There were some positives to take from the weekend. Chad Reed’s heat race was awesome. It was the best I’ve seen him in a race situation. His whoop speed was unbelievable. He’s finding more comfort with the bike, and it’s showing. Justin Hill rode really well, with getting the fastest qualifying time. He didn’t ride as well in the heat race, which put him outside for the main event start. He was right up there, but he got pushed off the track and crashed. Justin made some good moves to move toward the front. After the red flag re-start he got some arm pump and didn’t get to push the way he wanted to.”

“As for our 250 riders, Jimmy Decotis rode really well. He improved a lot from last week. Had a few little bobbles, which kept him from getting on the podium. Enzo Lopes is still learning. It’s part of being a rookie. He showed a lot of promise. He had a bike malfunction in his heat race and went to the last chance qualifier, but he looked really good in winning that race.”  

The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel back to Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. on Saturday, January 19th, for the third round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. This will also serve as the third round of the 250 Western Regional Supercross series.

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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.

JGRMX / Yoshimura / Suzuki Factory Racing Report: Anaheim 1 Supercross

The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team kicked off the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday night. Despite difficult conditions resulting from a rare, wet winter storm, the team soldiered on to top-ten finishes. Fan favorite Chad Reed established more competitive records by earning his 205 th career top-ten finish while competing in a record-setting 18 th consecutive Supercross opener. RM-Z450 teammate Justin Hill fought hard to finish 15 th . In the 250 West series, Jimmy Decotis secured seventh on the all-new Suzuki RM-Z250. Rookie teammate Enzo Lopes qualified third in his heat race and finished 15 th in his first Anaheim main event.

After racing the 250 East Supercross series in 2018, Jimmy Decotis was eager to contest the 250 Western Regional series. The Peabody, Massachusetts native instantly looked comfortable on the technical Anaheim Supercross track in qualifying third fastest. Decotis nearly holeshot his heat race, but went wide and tucked the front end. The 27-year-old used his veteran experience to meticulously work up to the front and transfer to the main event. After starting 10 th , Decotis used his #64 RM-Z250 to move up to seventh by conclusion of the race.

Easily one of the most popular riders in the pits, two-time 450 Supercross Champion Chad Reed made the main event through the Last Chance Qualifier and put his name in the record books with his 18 th consecutive Anaheim 1 Supercross race. As the heavens opened up, creating a muddy main event, “Reedy” embraced the challenging conditions in scoring ninth. It was his 205 th top-ten finish in professional racing.

Anaheim 1 served as Justin Hill’s first time racing the opener in the 450 Class. The 23-year-old impressed in the daytime qualifying sessions, putting his Suzuki RM-Z450 on the top of the fast lap board. Slick conditions during the night program held Hill to 15 th in the main event.

Brazilian Enzo Lopes was eager to race his first professional Supercross, and “The Kid” rose to the occasion. Lopes qualified 10 th fastest in combined 250 sessions, and then logged one of the fastest laps in his heat race. Unfortunately, a first-turn pile-up in the 250 main event slowed his advance. Still, Lopes rode exceptionally well in his first-ever Supercross.

Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 7 th Place] – “The first round of the year with the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing crew was a blast. I was excited to debut the new Suzuki RM-Z250. I felt very comfortable all day. Unfortunately, I had a crash on the start of the heat race that put me in a tough spot for the main event. The conditions were tough due to the rain. Overall, I’ll take a seventh given the circumstances. We have lots of racing to come, and I’m excited to grab some more starts. I want to show the industry what the new RM-Z250 can do. Thanks to the whole team for supplying me with the best equipment. I’m looking forward to Glendale!”

Chad Reed [450 Class, 9 th Place] – “With the weather, it was an interesting weekend. I had the feeling that no matter what I was going through, it was going to drastically change by the night program. I tried to get the most out of the daytime practices and qualifying to have good data for the next round in Glendale. Once the weather came I just dealt with it. I didn’t get the best of starts in my heat race. The conditions were tough and challenging, so I had to go to the LCQ. In some ways, it rained quite a lot in the LCQ, so I had a feel for what the track was going to be like in the main event. The downside was that I was on the far outside gate for the main. I was dead last on the start and came up to ninth, which is respectable. I feel like I have the pace. There are just a few things I need to work on to allow me to feel more comfortable when I’m out of my comfort zone. I have to adapt to the pace, but fortunately that’s one of my strengths. Sometimes that pace comes naturally, and other times it’s forced. I need to be more comfortable in that area. That’s something I will work on this week.”

Justin Hill [450 Class, 15 th Place] – “For a moment in time, before I fell in the slop, that was the best I had ever felt in a mud race. I’m very bummed about the end result, but there are several good things that I learned from this weekend that I can apply to the next 16 rounds.”

Enzo Lopes [250 Class, 15 th Place] – “Practice and the heat race was awesome. I don’t know what happened in the main event. I somehow stalled my bike, and then I crashed, so that made it worse. It was unreal to line up on the gate for my first Supercross race. I had that dream as a kid. I had a perspective of watching from the stands or from home. Placing third in the heat race was incredible. I had the speed, but the track was sloppy, so I couldn’t attack. The main event wasn’t what I wanted, but there’s another race. I learned a lot.”

Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “Jimmy Decotis rode great. He was the best one of our group. He didn’t get a great start in the main event, or things would have been different. Once Jimmy cleared traffic after the opening laps, he started putting together great times. Enzo Lopes rode awesome all day. He qualified well into the main event, but stalled the engine off the start. Enzo was charging through the pack, but was taken wide in a corner and fell. What’s interesting is that Weston Peick watched Enzo closely all day and was very impressed with him. That was cool to hear. Lopes did well for his first ever Supercross race.”

“In the 450 Class, Justin Hill had a tough day. He has been riding really well, but for some reason he struggled with the Anaheim track. Justin can ride better than his results show from Anaheim, and he will be looking to redeem himself this weekend. Chad Reed struggled all day, but a ninth place in the main was acceptable. He’s not happy with finishing ninth, so that’s good. Our team is healthy, the Suzuki motorcycles were great, and the riders aren’t happy with their results. That tells me there are better things to come.”

The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on Saturday, January 12 th , for the second round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. This will also serve as the second of the 250 Western Regional Supercross rounds.

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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.

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Announces 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Team

Powerhouse squad to include two former MotoAmerica / AMA Superbike Champions

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing and Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. are proud to announce its MotoAmerica Superbike riders for 2019. Riding once again for the team this coming season will be Toni Elias, the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion and former Moto2 World Champion. Joining the team for the first time is Josh Herrin, the 2013 AMA Superbike Champion. The pairing of Elias and Herrin, both riding the legendary Suzuki GSX-R1000, will make for a powerhouse squad. It will mark the first time Yoshimura Suzuki has featured two MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike Champions under the same tent since 2008, when Mat Mladin and Ben Spies were teammates.

Elias is aiming to win back the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in 2019. He’s coming off a solid campaign that saw him battle for the title most of the year and earn the distinction of scoring the most MotoAmerica Superbike wins of 2018. Elias, who won the championship in 2017 with Yoshimura Suzuki, has quickly become one of the all-time elites of the series in just three seasons with the team. In that three-year span, he’s been the winningest rider in MotoAmerica Superbike. He also became the fastest rider in history to reach the exclusive 20-win club. He comes into 2019 with 25-career wins.

“I am more than ready to start the 2019 racing season,” Elias said. “We ended last year on a high note with a victory in the final race and now we look forward to the challenge of battling again for the championship. I’m looking forward to having Josh as teammate. We’ve been tough competitors on the track, but also friends off the track. He’ll bring enthusiasm and experience and this will be a big benefit for the entire team.”

Herrin, who takes over the seat vacated by Roger Hayden upon his retirement last year, joins Yoshimura Suzuki with 13 years of professional road racing in his background, which includes an AMA Superbike Championship in 2013 and a MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 title in 2016. Herrin also has world championship experience, having raced Moto2 in 2014. He was one of the leading riders in MotoAmerica Superbike last year, finishing third in the series and winning two rounds riding for an independent team. His jaw-dropping 37-second margin of victory in the rain at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Superbike Race 1, was one of the largest margins of victory ever in MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike.

“It’s been a goal of mine to get back on a factory team since I won the Superbike championship in 2013,” Herrin explained. “I feel honored to now be a part of Yoshimura Suzuki with its long tradition of winning. I look forward to working side by side with Toni and the rest of the team. We’ll both be working towards the common goal of making the 2019 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 into a championship winner.”

Don Sakakura, President of Yoshimura Racing, is pleased to have such a strong lineup in 2019.

“Toni and Josh both bring a great deal of experience to the team,” Sakakura said. “They are passionate about winning and we expect that they will push each other and the entire team to an even higher level of competitiveness.”

Suzuki is already the gold standard in MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike. The manufacturer reached a major milestone last season, winning a record-setting 200th MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike victory last July. Elias added three more later in the season, bringing the total to 203 all-time victories for Suzuki at the end of 2018. Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing is also the all-time winningest team in MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike history.

Elias and Herrin will both be racing to build on that winning legacy when the MotoAmerica season kicks off at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, on April 5-7.

For additional information visit: www.motoamerica.com

You can keep up with the team’s progress by visiting yoshimura-racing.com and www.suzukicycles.com/Racing and via YouTube at www.youtube.com/SuzukiCycles

Team Yoshimura Suzuki is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&DSuzuki Motor of AmericaMotulDunlopTucker PowersportsTeam SuzukiShoraiSunstarMWR Racing FiltersNGK Spark PlugsRK Racing ChainZeta High Performance Products, Chicken Hawk Racing, and Taleo Technoracing.

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 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.