2022 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season ends

ASBK-10-Sam Lochoff-2

Team Suzuki Press Office – September 27

Tyler Scott (SSP): GSX-R750 – 3rd
Sam Lochoff: (SSP): GSX-R750 – 5th
Richie Escalante (SBK): GSX-R1000R – 6th
Jake Lewis (SBK): GSX-R1000R – 7th

Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer ended the 2022 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season at Barber Motorsports Park on Sunday in trophy-winning fashion.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott continues his rapid development with a podium performance while competing in among the most challenging conditions imaginable to close out his maiden Supersport campaign.

Faced with a wet-but-drying track, Scott charged into the race’s opening corner in second aboard his GSX-R750 shod with wet-weather tyres. Tentative initially, Scott dropped outside the top five before increasing his confidence at the 2.38-mile circuit.

As the track continued to dry out, the 16-year-old rookie upped his speed and fought his way back up to third and was closing on second position by the time he ultimately took the chequered flag.

The result was Scott’s ninth podium of his breakout season, including a debut victory scored earlier in the year.

Scott, who finished the year ranked an impressive third in the Supersport points standings, said: “I didn’t feel that great in the beginning of the race, but the track started to dry out and I started to get more and more pace. I thought I might be able to even get second by the end, but I just ran out of time.

“I want to give a big thanks to the whole Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team for giving me the opportunity this year. I took full advantage of everything they had, and it’s a great feeling to put it on the podium for the last race of the year. I think I learned a lot about bike set-up this year working with the team. Everyone has been a big help and I’m really happy with the progress I made.”

Suzuki GSX-R750s ultimately secured four of the race’s top five positions, headed by 3D Motorsports LLC’s Luke Power. The rider who completed the top five was Scott’s Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate, Sam Lochoff.

Lochoff, who continues to fight his way back to form and fitness following a lengthy injury-forced layoff, battled for the podium for much of the race before eventually earning an encouraging fifth.

“It was a fun race, but it was crazy. I have often raced in the wet, but never in a dry track with rain tyres. Call that one a learning experience, but I was glad to get fifth.” Said Lochoff. “I had dropped back to about seventh at one stage but I came back through the field. I thought I was going to make a pass for third, but I had no front tyre left. The left side of the front tyre was totally gone and the handlebars were moving back and forth even when I was on the straight.”

Despite missing several races, the South African ended the season ranked ninth with three podiums and five top-five finishes.

Third Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki Supersport entry Liam Grant had a more difficult time with the conditions. Grant took the risk of beginning the race on dry tyres, ultimately fading from his grid position inside the top 10 down to 16th. The youngster ended his rookie Supersport season ranked 13th on the strength of eight top-10 finishes, highlighted by the best result of sixth.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Superbike duo of Richie Escalante and Jake Lewis ended the year in formation, taking the final chequered flag of the season in sixth and seventh position, respectively.

Premier-class rookie Escalante made a late pass on his veteran teammate to end the year with a promising sixth. The result was Escalante’s 12th top 10 in a year that saw him finish ninth in points while scoring five top fives, including a pair of fourths.

“The beginning of the race was a little difficult,” said Escalante. “With the rain in the morning, the temperature was cooler today and we chose a different tyre. Sometimes you have to take a risk and it did not work out at the beginning. As the race went on, I got stronger, and I was able to go faster and be the top Suzuki finisher. I am happy with the year, learning step by step with a great team. Now is the time to take what I learned and train hard to get ready for next season.”

Lewis held sixth for much of the race over Escalante. His seventh was his 15th top 10. The Kentuckian ended the year ranked seventh, boasting three top fives on the season, including a podium.

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