Team Suzuki Press Office – June 2.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly raced his Suzuki GSX-R600 to the podium at the weekend’s opening round of the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin with second position.
He came back from a huge accident on Saturday with an impressive third-place run in Sunday’s rematch after taking the lead on the opening lap and waged a back-and-forth drafting contest before settling back to secure third. But an opponent’s disqualification later moved Kelly up the ranks where he was ultimately awarded second place.
Said Kelly: “It was a tough race after taking the hard hit yesterday. As much as we want to be on top, we just needed a decent result. I’m looking forward to starting next month at a better pace after learning a lot this weekend and I want to give a huge thanks to my entire M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team.”
Kelly (18) showed his grit and skill during Race 2 on Sunday after suffering the accident while battling for the win in Saturday’s Supersport race, as Supersport teammate Lucas Silva finished a strong sixth on Sunday after finishing a close eighth the day before.
Superbike riders Toni Elias and Bobby Fong found positives at the ‘closed-to-public’ event due to the ongoing crisis: Fong had an impressive race on Saturday in the HONOS Superbike class aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000: After qualifying on the second row, he finished in a solid fourth after scrapping for second throughout, but crashed from contention on lap seven of 12 in Race 2 after colliding with another rider as they battled for second position.
Said Fong: “Saturday’s Race 1 was good, clean fun. There was some good dicing and I learned a lot racing with those guys, especially considering how little time I’ve had on this bike. I felt I rode well and I did everything I could, giving 110% each corner. We were actually really good in a lot of the technical sectors, and we found some things this weekend that will really help us improve going forward.”
2017 MotoAmerica Superbike and 2010 Moto2 World Champion Elias suffered a rough weekend after qualifying on the front row: After retiring on Saturday due to a broken chain, he was determined to redeem himself on Sunday, displaying both improved confidence and pace, but slid-off on lap three while running with the lead pack.
“We did an incredible job,” said Elias. “I’ve never done this much improvement in my life. Not the best start to the season, and not the start I wanted or expected, but racing is like this. We will continue forward.
“We have one month now [until the next race at The Ridge, Shelton, Washington on June 28th] and we will work hard.”
Double MotoAmerica undercard national Champion Alex Dumas enjoyed a solid debut in the literbike competition after previously making his name on smaller displacement motorcycles. The French Canadian qualified and finished seventh in the Stock 1000 opener aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000.
* The M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team is looking forward to when the MotoAmerica series returns to The Ridge, Washington for Round 2 on June 26-28th.