Photos Courtesy of Brown Dog Wilson
The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team traveled to St. Louis for round 11 of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series. Kyle Peters used his Suzuki RM-Z250 to grab great starts and speedy consistency to log his best result of the season. Suzuki sensation Weston Peick rode his RM-Z450 with tenacity and fearlessness in scoring a top five finish. Teammate Malcolm Stewart had the fastest qualifying time at one point, and concluded the daytime sessions in third.
Greensboro, NC’s Peters continues to improve at every round of the 250 East Supercross series. Peters put an increased focus on his starts during the week leading up to St. Louis. His hard work paid off. Peters holeshot his heat race and started inside the top five in the main event. He was one of a few to execute a tricky quad jump, and his heroics earned him fourth place on the night. Peters moved from ninth to sixth place in the overall 250 East championship standings – two points out of fifth place.
After spending the week testing at the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team headquarters in NC, Peick was ready to improve on his sixth-place finish at Daytona. He did just that, cutting through the field on his RM-Z450 in the main event to finish fifth. It was his fourth top-five of the series. He now sits sixth in the overall 450
In what looked to be a breakout evening for Stewart, the Haines City, FL native showed blazing speed by logging the fastest qualifying time in the opening 450 session. He backed that up with top-three speed in the final session. Unfortunately, Stewart tangled with another rider in his heat race and crashed hard. He came back to easily win the Last Chance Qualifier. Stewart was inside the top-five in the opening lap of the main event, but the pain from an injured shoulder held him back to tenth on the night. “Mookie” is currently 13 th in the point standings.
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 4 th Place] – “Overall, it was a great weekend. I made a lot of improvements in bringing a typical practice day to a race day situation. I qualified well and my times were close. Heading into the night show Buddy Antunez helped me with a few things, which really helped. I holeshot my heat race, which was great, but I rode a
little tight and finished second. I worked hard in the main event and came away with fourth. My riding was so much better than it has been. I’m riding more like myself. It was
a confidence booster to get that monkey off my back.”
“The quad was possibly the biggest jump I’ve ever hit on a Supercross track. Stewart was the first guy to do it. Jeremy Albrecht and Buddy told me that there were going to be 250 guys doing it, and that I should go for it. I sized it up a few times, but I never even hit it until the heat race. That was the first time I sent it. The transition got a little choppy in the main event. Halfway through the race I did it, and there was a rider down on the landing. I landed just as a track worker was picking up the rider’s bike and I clipped his handlebars. That was a scary moment!”
Weston Peick [450 Class, 5 th Place] – “St. Louis went much better for me than the week before in Daytona, where I dealt with sickness and the crash in Atlanta. I rode well
in practice. I came from 10 th to 5 th in the heat race. In the main event I wanted to be safe and stay on the inside, so I chose a gate that had a big pot hole in front of it. I didn’t get the best drive, but I made some good passes and fought my way up. I held strong through the main event and ended the night in fifth. I felt strong and am back in the right direction to where I was in the early part of the series.”
“Before the night show we stiffened up the suspension, because there were some deep ruts. That worked in my favor. As for the quad jump, I didn’t think anyone would do it. Then Malcolm did it, so that encouraged me to go for it. It was an easy jump. I just had to make sure I gave it enough gas to get over it. The rhythm three-three- three jump section before the finish line was more difficult than the quad.”
Malcolm Stewart [450 Class, 10th Place] – “I was riding well all day long. Unfortunately, I had a bad jump off the gate in the heat race and came together with another rider. I crashed and messed up my shoulder. I ended up with 10th in the main event. I can’t complain. I’m just glad that I’m safe. Later in the week I should have an update on my shoulder. Thanks to the fans for being there for me, as well as the medical group for helping me out!”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team had a solid weekend. Stewart rode super well. I thought he had podium speed. It was the best I’ve seen him ride this year. He finished tenth after not knowing whether he could even ride the main event, which shows his determination. Peick was back to where he was earlier in the year, which was great. Peters had a holeshot in his heat race, which is the result of him practicing starts this past week. He’s getting better every week. Everyone feels like they can get better, which is a great sign at this point in the Supercross series.”
“I’m excited to see Justin Hill back on the Suzuki RM-Z250 this weekend in Indianapolis, as well as Peters coming off his best race and Phil Nicoletti finally feeling healthy. It should be interesting. You can make or lose a lot of points. We’ll know more about Stewart’s condition later in the week, as well as an update on Jimmy Decotis’ injury from Daytona.”
The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to Indianapolis for round 12 of the 2018 Supercross series on Saturday, March 24 th . It is the first 250 East/West Showdown, which will feature defending 250 West Supercross Champion Justin Hill, Phil Nicoletti, and Kyle Peters.
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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 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.