Team Suzuki Press Office – May 23.
Sean Dylan Kelly: GSX-R600 – 1st
Cameron Petersen: GSX-R1000 – 5th
Sam Lochoff: GSX-R600 – 8th
Bobby Fong: GSX-R1000 – 12th
Team Hammer’s Sean Dylan Kelly continued his winning ways as the 2021 MotoAmerica AMA/ FIM North American Road Racing Championship season picked back up for Round 2 at Virginia International Raceway on Saturday.
Despite suffering from illness, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Kelly continued to build and carry his momentum in the MotoAmerica Supersport class. ‘SDK’ kept his early 2021 record unblemished, upping his pole record to two-for-two and his wins mark three-for-three after the opening day.
Kelly took the holeshot aboard his GSX-R600 only to see a rival dive up the inside just a few corners into the race. The Floridian immediately retaliated to reclaim the position and defended it resolutely from that point forward.
Despite a tight lead pack comprising four-to-six riders, Kelly never gave the opposition an opportunity to stick a wheel underneath him. And with four laps to go, SDK upped his pace and subsequently opened up enough of a gap to seal his hard-earned victory, who now boasts a five-race win streak dating back to the end of the 2020 season.
Said Kelly: “It feels amazing to be in the P1 spot. Thank you so much to my team, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki and all my guys. We’ve been working so hard since the end of the 2020 season. Already two poles and three wins this season. I got sick between Atlanta and here, and it doesn’t help not training and not being my 100%. But it’s all good, but no excuses and we’re pushing hard. We’ll keep on working and do our homework; I think we have a good chance of coming back stronger and faster tomorrow.”
Kelly’s M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate, Sam Lochoff, was one riders also battling in the lead group of the MotoAmerica Supersport contest. The South African erased a gap to the front and joined the fight for the lead a handful of laps into the 19-lap affair.
His race took a turn for the worse when he ran off track on lap 14, dropping to near the bottom of the top 10 in the process. Undeterred, Lochoff fought his way back up to eighth and came up just 0.381-second short of chasing down sixth at the flag.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Superbike duo of Bobby Fong and Cam Petersen both showed podium potential aboard their GSX-R1000 machinery on Saturday and will be motivated to make good on that speed come Sunday’s rematch.
Fong was well clear in third and looking for a way into second when an electronics issue sent him off the track surface and plummeting down the field. Despite the problem, the Californian soldiered on to log 12th-place points in the end.
South African Petersen, meanwhile, waged a back and forth dogfight for third right to the chequered flag. Petersen powered from fourth to third at the stripe on several occasions as the laps counted down. However, any last-lap assault plan he’d formulated was foiled when a third rider dropped him to fifth with two laps remaining. Petersen ultimately finished in fifth, less than a second off the podium and a scant 0.006-second out of fourth.
Meanwhile, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Wyatt Farris improved upon his qualifying position of 12th to finish eighth in the Stock 1000 race won by Altus Motorsports Suzuki’s Jake Lewis aboard his Team Hammer-built GSX-R1000.