Team Suzuki Press Office – August 29.
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Hayden broke through to score his second victory of the season in the MotoAmerica second Superbike race in the inaugural series event at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania.
Team-mate Toni Elias finished second, not only giving Yoshimura Suzuki yet another one-two finish, but it also expanded Elias’ series lead to 79 points with just four races remaining on the 2017 MotoAmerica calendar.
Hayden’s standout weekend began by winning Superpole; his series-leading fifth of the year. He was joined at the top of the timing charts by Elias and M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis, giving the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 a clean sweep of the front row in qualifying.
Elias and Hayden finished second and third respectively in Saturday’s race before the two ran at the front nearly the entire race distance in Sunday’s race. Hayden built-up a big lead before a red flag stopped the race. On the six-lap restart, Hayden once again quickly powered into the lead and held on for the victory.
It was the eighth time this season that Yoshimura Suzuki has finished one-two and it marked Hayden’s sixth-career Superbike victory.
Said Hayden: “I’m happy to get this victory, not just for me, but also for my family. It shows that we’re still here, we’re still racing; and we’re still winning. My Suzuki was great today and I thank my whole team for the work they put into making that happen. I’d built a pretty good lead and was disappointed to see the red flag, but on the restart, I was determined to get back up-front. On that last lap, I wasn’t going to let anyone pass me.”
Elias nearly crashed into Cameron Beaubier when Beaubier’s bike lost traction right in front of him, but he was able to make a quick move to avoid potential trouble and from there rallied to push Hayden all the way to the flag. Hayden’s gap over Elias at the finish in Sunday’s race was just 0.263 seconds.
“It was very close for me when Cameron ran off the track,” Elias explained. “I tried my best to catch Roger, but he was too strong today. Fortunately, my finishes this weekend have given me a good gap in the points, but I will not rest because the championship is not over until it’s over.”
The series now goes east in two weeks to New Jersey Motorsports Park for the penultimate MotoAmerica round, on Sept. 8-10th in Millville, New Jersey.