Yoshimura-backed teams once again showed the performance advantage of their Yoshimura products and their dominance over Memorial Day weekend during the 2011 AMA American Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park, the AMA Pro Motocross Championship at the Rockstar Energy Freestone National and the Rock Run ATV GNCC in Patton, PA. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki superbike, motocross and ATV teams put their Yoshimura products to the test in a strong display of dominance this past Memorial Day weekend.
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki celebrated in style at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, UT. Blake Young piloted his Yoshimura-prepped Suzuki GSX-R1000 to victory in what was arguably the most exciting AMA Superbike race of the season. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Tommy Hayden was right there with Young, running up front and finishing in an impressive third place to round out the podium.
Because the AMA Series was running in tandem with the World Superbike Series at Miller, there was only one AMA Superbike race instead of the usual two. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammates certainly made the most of it. On race day, Young and his Suzuki were running with the race leader almost immediately. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider firmly slotted his GSX-R into second place and aggressively battled for the lead throughout all 16 laps. He passed for the lead on several occasions but was unable to make it stick until the final lap. At that point, Young made his move, got out in front, put his head down and brought home the checkers.
Ã¢Â€ÂœMy Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 was running great and I got up to the race leader pretty quick,Ã¢Â€Â said Young. Ã¢Â€ÂœAt first, I was just trying to settle into a comfortable pace for me, but it seemed like every time I tried to relax, Josh would get away a little bit. So I just put my head down and did what I had to do. I wanted to put on a good show for the fans and I think we did that. IÃ¢Â€Â™m happy to come out of here with a win for my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team, and now we have just a few days until Road America in my home state. IÃ¢Â€Â™m looking forward to racing on that track and itÃ¢Â€Â™ll be great to race in front of my friends and family back home in Wisconsin.Ã¢Â€Â
Meanwhile, Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Hayden was right there in the hunt for the entire race. Like Young, Hayden quickly got up to speed and into the top three on his Suzuki GSX-R1000. In fact, he was less than a second behind his teammate throughout the event. After charging hard and riding flawlessly, Hayden brought home a solid third-place finish.
Ã¢Â€ÂœOverall, I think the race went well,Ã¢Â€Â said Hayden. Ã¢Â€ÂœI felt comfortable on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and I was able to get up front pretty quick. WeÃ¢Â€Â™ve been on the podium at every race this year and weÃ¢Â€Â™ve been consistent, but I think we need to try and win a few more races. IÃ¢Â€Â™m looking forward to Road America Ã¢Â€Â“ IÃ¢Â€Â™m glad itÃ¢Â€Â™s right around the corner. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s one of my favorite tracks and hopefully weÃ¢Â€Â™ll have a good result there.Ã¢Â€Â
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki had a strong showing on their Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450s in the second round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at the Rockstar Energy Freestone National in Wortham, TX. Conditions were tough as usual in Texas, with high temperatures and humidity throughout the day, but the Suzuki riders were up for the challenge. Ryan Dungey rode strong, scoring a convincing second in the first moto, and led every lap of the second moto until a fuel problem hit with just two laps to go, resulting in a DNF (did not finish). Teammate Brett Metcalfe had a solid performance in the Texas heat as well, scoring a fourth-place overall for the day.
Dungey started the day strong, claiming the fastest time in the morning timed practices. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider didnÃ¢Â€Â™t have the best of starts in the first moto, but he rode strong and powered his RM-Z through the field to cross the line for a convincing second-place finish. In moto two, Dungey blasted out of the gate just behind his teammate and quickly moved into the lead by the end of the first lap. Dungey led for the next 14 laps and built a 20-second plus lead until the extreme temperatures caused the fuel in his RM-Z to boil. The unfortunate end result was that fuel was expelled through the vent system, which depleted his fuel supply, robbing him of the moto win and the overall victory. Dungey was credited with a 25th-place finish in the second moto and an eighth-place overall for the day.
“Overall, I felt awesome all day,Ã¢Â€Â said Dungey. Ã¢Â€ÂœMy Rockstar Makita Suzuki team worked really hard and itÃ¢Â€Â™s just too bad we had the issue in the second moto. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s a bummer for the team and myself Ã¢Â€Â“ for all of us together, as weÃ¢Â€Â™re all in it together. I feel bad because we all work too hard for something like this to happen. We just need to keep looking forward; keep moving in the right direction and keep our heads down. We have a lot of racing left, so we have a lot to be thankful for. We have a weekend off and weÃ¢Â€Â™re gonna do a little testing and see if we canÃ¢Â€Â™t improve on a few areas and be ready for High Point. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s a great track; itÃ¢Â€Â™s got some hills and elevation and the dirtÃ¢Â€Â™s awesome there. ItÃ¢Â€Â™s a fun track and I was able to get a win there last year, so IÃ¢Â€Â™m really looking forward to it. Ã¢Â€Â
Teammate Brett Metcalfe started the day with a solid practice aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider had a good start in the first moto but struggled a bit and went down a couple times, which resulted in a ninth-place finish. In moto two, the awesome power of his RM-Z blasted Metcalfe out of the gate as he pulled the holeshot, just in front of Dungey. Metcalfe rode solid until the end, crossing the line for a third-place finish. His 9-3 moto finishes gave him a fourth-place overall for the day.
“I was feeling pretty good coming into Texas after my fifth at Hangtown,Ã¢Â€Â said Metcalfe. Ã¢Â€ÂœI knew the heat and humidity in Texas is always tough, so my main goal was to get two good starts and put my Rockstar Makita Suzuki up front and then if the heat was a factor, I could back it down from there. I was able to achieve that and actually got the holeshot in the second moto Ã¢Â€Â“ My Yoshimura Suzuki crew put together a real good package for the start today, so that was really good. I struggled in the first moto and went down twice. And that was after I was up in the front early, so that was a disappointment. I was able to rebound strong and have a really strong second moto and got a third there and a fourth overall. That was a good little boost for me and now IÃ¢Â€Â™m sitting fifth in the points. IÃ¢Â€Â™m really thankful to the whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team today, as it was a really good day for us. IÃ¢Â€Â™m going to take advantage of this off-week and go back to California and do some testing and get ready for High Point. I like that track and last year I was able to get a podium there, so IÃ¢Â€Â™m really looking forward to it.Ã¢Â€Â
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki grabbed a top-ten finish in Texas. Martin Davalos took advantage of the awesome power of his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z250 to claim a sixth-place overall finish in the 250 class.
Davalos started his day scoring tenth fastest in the morning timed practice sessions. In the first moto, he was caught up in a first turn pile-up and ended up starting from the back. Davalos charged hard through the pack on his RM-Z and was able to work his way up to cross the line in tenth. In moto two, Davalos had a decent start and was ninth at the end of the first lap. By the end, he was able to grab two more positions for seventh place, which was good enough to score him a sixth-place overall result.
Ã¢Â€ÂœMy weekend in Texas was pretty good,Ã¢Â€Â said Davalos. Ã¢Â€ÂœThe first moto I had some bad luck and got caught up in a first turn pile-up. I got up in about 38th and was able to push really hard on my Suzuki and get a tenth. The second moto was really hot and I got off around seventh or eighth and was able to finish seventh, which gave me a sixth overall. IÃ¢Â€Â™m definitely happy with that, especially with the problem in the first moto. My Rockstar Energy Suzuki team did a great job and my Suzuki RM-Z250 really worked awesome. We have a weekend off and IÃ¢Â€Â™m gonna work on a few things and go to High Point and get up there with the front guys. I just need to get better starts to put myself in a better position.Ã¢Â€Â
Rockstar Makita SuzukiÃ¢Â€Â™s Chris Borich raced his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki QuadRacer R450 to a hard-fought victory at this weekendÃ¢Â€Â™s Rock Run GNCC, round six of the 2011 ATV Grand National Cross Country series, in Patton, PA.
After getting off the line in fifth place, Borich made the most of the fast and rocky, 12.5-mile course, picking off the front-runners left and right. By the halfway point of the two-hour race, heÃ¢Â€Â™d moved his Suzuki QuadRacer into the lead. From there, the defending series champion held off all challenges and captured his fourth win of the year.
Ã¢Â€ÂœIt ended up being a freight train, all of us running together, and it was pretty hard to pass,Ã¢Â€Â said Borich. Ã¢Â€ÂœItÃ¢Â€Â™s always good to add to a points lead and I was happy to accomplish that today. WeÃ¢Â€Â™ve got a little cushion now. The Suzuki worked awesome today, the power was unbelievable and I canÃ¢Â€Â™t thank Yoshimura and the team enough.Ã¢Â€Â
Borich, the reigning ATV XC1 champion, now leads the 2011 ATV Grand National Cross Country series championship by 28 points. With one more round under his belt, Borich is already looking forward to the next race in West Virginia where heÃ¢Â€Â™ll have another opportunity to further increase his points lead.
Ã¢Â€ÂœThat will be an interesting race,Ã¢Â€Â said Borich. Ã¢Â€ÂœThatÃ¢Â€Â™s going to be a survival race and will boil down to picking good lines.Ã¢Â€Â
The Yoshimura-backed teamÃ¢Â€Â™s next events are the fourth round of the 2011 AMA American Superbike Championship series at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI on June 3-5, 2011, the third round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship on June 11th, at the Rockstar Energy High Point National in Mt. Morris, PA and the seventh round of the 2011 ATV Grand National Cross Country series in Snowshoe, WV on June 25th.