Team Suzuki Press Office – June 26.
Toni Elias – (2017 GSX-R1000) – 1-1 for 1st
Roger Hayden- (2017 GSX-R1000) – 2-2 for 2nd
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing dominated with a one-two aboard the new 2017 GSX-R1000 at the weekend’s MotoAmerica fifth round at Utah Motorsports Complex in Tooele, Utah.
Toni Elias swept the weekend, winning both legs of the event on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000, extending his series lead to 30 points. And team-mate Roger Hayden finished runner-up in both races, winning Superpole and breaking a long-standing MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike UMC track record in the process.
In testimony to the racing ability of the new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000, this marked the fifth time this season that Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing has finished 1-2 in MotoAmerica Superbike.
Elias has now earned a series-leading six MotoAmerica Superbike victories in 2017. His Utah clean-sweep pushed his series lead total to 210 points. Hayden, who now owns eight podium finishes in 2017, moved back into second in the standings with 180 points.
The weekend started off on a high note for the team when Hayden used the power and handling of the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 to break the MotoAmerica UMC track record in Superpole. Hayden’s pole-winning time of 1:48.941 eclipsed the old MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike lap-record for the 3.048-mile Outer/ Perimeter Course at UMC (formerly Miller Motorsports Park) of 1:49.167, set by Ben Spies in 2006; also on a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Then it was Elias’ turn to shine: He made up for a mistake in the first turn of race 1 on Saturday, which dropped him far back in the pack. From there, the former World Champion methodically worked his way through the field to earn a stunning come-from-behind victory. On Sunday, his victory came after battling with Hayden up-front most of the way. He opened-up a small gap on the final lap and Elias’ margins of victory were 2.461 seconds on Saturday and 0.459 seconds on Sunday.
“I am so happy about this weekend,” Elias said after Sunday’s victory. “We won both races and the team did a great job with the bike. Yesterday, I got so lucky after running off the track. I came back step-by-step, passed some riders, caught the leading group and won the race. Today I was there up-front for the whole race. Two wins for the weekend was very important for the championship. We must continue like this.”
For Hayden, the track record was the highlight of the weekend.
“The record stood for a long time, so I’m really happy about that,” he said. “I’m proud of our performance. The team is working really hard and I’m looking forward to Laguna Seca.”
At the mid-point of the season, the newly-redesigned 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 has won a total of seven of the 10 MotoAmerica Superbike races.
The series kicks-off the second-half of the season when it moves to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, on July 7-9th for the sixth of 10 MotoAmerica events.