Images Courtesy of Brown Dog Wilson
Suzuki’s Alex Martin Caps Off Supercross Series with Strong Overall Finish
A solid showing for the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team during the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross season
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team traveled to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the final round of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Championship, and the last 250 East/West Showdown. RM-Z250 rider Alex Martin earned a hard-fought fifth place finish to score a career-best fifth place finish in the Supercross overall points standings. In the 450 ranks, Suzuki RM-Z450 rider Justin Hill nailed down his third consecutive top-ten finish in his rookie 450 Supercross season.
”A-Mart” has been building on his Supercross technique throughout the duration of this year’s 250 East campaign. Martin rose to the occasion in Las Vegas by securing a great start in the main and earning his third top-five finish. It’s obvious that Martin, a two-time runner-up in the 250 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships, has never felt more comfortable in Supercross. Good things await A-Mart as the season heads outdoors.
“The highlight was Martin’s main event,” said Jeremy Albrecht, Team Manager. “He rode really well and had a good start. That was one of the better main events that he has ridden, speed wise. It would have been a podium in a normal race. I’m excited that Alex is getting on a roll heading into the outdoors.”
Justin Hill was looking to build on a recent top-ten streak. The 450 rookie has endured ups and downs in the arduous 17-round Supercross series but found his footing in the 450 class. That much was evident in the Supercross series finale, as Hill fought hard for ninth place. Hill finished 11th in the points standings and like his teammate Martin, looks for improvement in the Motocross season.
“I wanted to end my rookie 450 Supercross series with a top finish,” said Hill. “The track was tough, but I managed the racing as best as I could and came away with a ninth. I will take what I have learned and apply it to the outdoors.”
Kyle Peters continued to show determination throughout the series on his RM-Z250. In Vegas, the North Carolina native earned an impressive third-place finish in his heat race. He had a great jump off the gate in the main event and was running well inside the top-ten, but several minor mistakes forced him back to 12th. He concluded the 250 East series eighth in the standings.
Jimmy Decotis has been dealing with a lingering illness for several weeks, which has sapped his energy. Regardless, “The Rippa” had high expectations entering the final Supercross race of the series. Qualifying sixth fastest in combined times, the Massachusetts native fended off the competition to qualify for the stacked 250 East/West main event. After a rough start, Decotis moved up to 18th place. He finishes the season seventh in the overall points standings.
“This completes a solid second year with the program, and I’m super excited for what the future holds,” said Decotis. “Thanks to the team for all of the hard work. I can’t wait to get healthy and show the world what we have!”
Rookie Enzo Lopes was ready to go to battle in “Sin City”. Despite riding with a fractured wrist, the Brazilian fought through the pain to score the ninth-fastest time. However, disaster struck in his heat race. Lopes was relegated to the Last Chance Qualifier, where he struggled to make the main event. He ended his first 250 West campaign in a disappointing 16th place.
Alex Martin [250 Class, 5th Place] – “It was a pleasantly surprising weekend. The Las Vegas track was dry and slick. I felt comfortable on my Suzuki RM-Z250. We softened up the shock a bit, and went stiffer on the forks. That was the right way to go for me. The heat race was too close for comfort, and I had a far outside gate pick. The run out of the gate was smooth, and I crossed the first turn in sixth or seventh. I rode well, and it felt good to grab a top-five to end the series.”
Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 10th Place] – “Vegas was a really tough day for me, as I was under the weather and didn’t have any energy. I struggled all night. This concludes a solid second year with the program, and I’m super excited for what the future holds. Thanks to the team for all of the hard work. I can’t wait to get healthy and show the world what we have!”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 12th Place] – “I was ready to cap off the Supercross series with a strong finish in the always difficult 250 East/West Showdown. My speed was good and I felt comfortable on the hard pack track. After qualifying seventh, I was rolling in my heat race. I was where I needed to be and settled into third. Unfortunately, I hurt my hand early on in the main event and could only manage 12th. I know there’s more in the tank, but things happen in racing.”
Enzo Lopes [250 Class, Did Not Qualify] – “The day started off well. I finished ninth in qualifying, despite still dealing with a hand injury from Houston. It was the best I had felt in the whoops. The track was very tricky. I had a rough start in the heat race and finished 11th place. As I have learned, anything can happen in the last chance qualifier. I hit my hand off the start and had to pull off. It’s not the way I wanted to finish the season, but I learned a lot.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 9th Place] – “I wanted to end my rookie 450 Supercross series with a top finish. The track was tough, especially with the back-to-back whoop sections. I managed the racing as best as I could and came away with a ninth. I know that I can do a lot better. I will take what I have learned and apply it to the outdoors.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “The highlight was Alex Martin’s main event. He rode really well. He had a good start in the main and was pushed wide. He had a get-off and recovered well. That was one of the better main events that he has ridden, speed wise. It would have been a podium in a normal race. I’m excited that Alex is getting on a roll heading into the outdoors. Jimmy Decotis was feeling bad all weekend and didn’t have any energy. That’s too bad, because he was really fast. Kyle Peters rode well all day, but he hurt his hand early on in the main event. He maintained and did as best as he could. Enzo Lopes was looking good. Unfortunately, he had a tough heat race and crashed in the second turn of the LCQ. He has been riding with a cracked wrist, and he hurt that when he fell.”
“Justin Hill was okay. There were moments where he showed promise. The goal for our team was to finish the Supercross series strong. To be honest, Alex Martin was the only rider to do that. I’m looking forward to the outdoor series.”
This concludes the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship for the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team. There will be a weekend break before the team ventures to Rancho Cordova, California, on Saturday, May 18th for the opening round of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships.
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.