Team Suzuki Press Office – June 27.
• Weston Peick and Justin Hill race their Suzuki RM-Z450s to top-10 finishes.
• Jimmy Decotis makes successful return to racing on the Suzuki RM-Z250.
Weston Peick #34 – 450 Class – 6-6-for 6th
Justin Hill #46 – 450 Class – 8-7 for 7th
Jimmy Decotis #47 – 250 Class – 17-12 for 15th
The Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team made the three-hour drive from their headquarters in North Carolina to the fabled Muddy Creek Raceway for round five of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship at the weekend as Justin Hill once again showed masterful speed on the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450 by logging the fifth-fastest qualifying time and earning two top-10 finishes in only his second 450 National.
Team-mate Weston Peick finished just outside the top-five on his Suzuki RM-Z450 and is sixth in the standings, while in the 250 ranks, Jimmy Decotis returned to action after sustaining a major injury during the Supercross series. Decotis, who sports the nickname “The Rippa”, rode his RM-Z250 with determination in both motos, nearly missing a top-10 finish in the second moto on a gruelling and unforgiving track.
Historically, Peick has excelled on the undulating Muddy Creek circuit, which is known for its narrow racing lanes and loose soil. Peick rode with fervor in both motos, nailing two top-five starts and maintaining position for many laps despite several torn tendons in his hand. “The Viking” held off the challenges from several riders and eventually settled in for 6-6 moto scores for sixth overall. He is also sixth in the point standings.
The Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team is also elated to announce that Justin Hill will contest the remaining rounds of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450. After making a statement these past two weekends, the Yoncalla, Oregon native was looking to follow-up a top-five overall from High Point with an even better finish in Tennessee. Hill logged the fifth-fastest qualifying time on Saturday, but he was slowed by a nasty spill in the final qualifying session. He soldiered on with his #46 RM-Z450 to earn two top-10 results for seventh overall. Even with his brief time in the 450 class, Hill has quickly climbed up to just outside the top ten in points, at 13th.
Racers and fans alike might have thought that Decotis was going to miss the entire 2018 National series after suffering fractures in his back and ribs in March. However, the word “quit” is not in Decotis’ vocabulary. The Massachusetts native improved with every lap on the Muddy Creek circuit, the highlight being a 12th place finish in the second moto. The team expects Decotis’ finishes to improve with each moto.
Weston Peick [450 Class, 6-6 for 6th Place]:
“I had two good starts and was running at the front in both motos. Overall, I rode well. My hand is still a problem, though. I have about 15 minutes in me before I lose the feeling in it. When that happens, I get ‘whiskey throttle’ and my hand blows off the handlebars. Other than that, the series has been going well. I have good speed. My plan is to grind it out every weekend and put in solid finishes. People expect me to finish motos, and that’s what I have been doing. Sixth overall isn’t where I want to finish, but I’m collecting points.
“This week the team will head to a few sand tracks near JGRMX and get a feel for the sand. Southwick will probably be one of the most difficult tracks for my hand, so I’ll develop a game plan and prepare as much as I can this week.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 8-7 for 7th Place]:
“My day wasn’t terrible, but it could have been better. I had a practice crash that took the wind out of my sails for the motos. I’m bummed, because I was hoping to make a big improvement from High Point last weekend. I felt better at Muddy Creek and a lot closer to the front guys in practice. Seventh place isn’t the worst finish in the world, though. I’m building, and we made a couple of good changes to the RM-Z450 with the chassis. I’m just a bit upset about the racing, because I wanted to make a jump in my progress.
“I am excited that I get to race the Suzuki RM-Z450 for the rest of the National series! I have seven more races to be a podium guy and show people that I can be successful outdoors. I’m looking forward to it.”
Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 17-12 for 15th Place]:
“It was great to be at the races. I’m thankful that I was able to return at Muddy Creek. Honestly, after breaking my back I wasn’t sure whether I’d even be able to race this summer. It was a long road to get here. I’m so thankful to be with the Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory program and have access to the therapy at JGRMX. To come away with points in both motos is a good start, but the finishes aren’t where I want to be. Taking the positives away, I was really fit and strong in both motos. Now I just need to get the speed. I figured that would happen, because I was off the bike for three-and-a-half months, and I was in a lot of pain during those first few weeks on the bike. Only lately have I started to get that aggression back. It will take time, but Southwick should boost my confidence. The goal is to put on a show for my New England fans. I’m blessed that Suzuki has given me the opportunity to race the Nationals, and that they understand that it’s going to take some time to get where I need to be.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager]:
“It was cool to have Jimmy Decotis back. He improved every time his Dunlop tyres hit the dirt. It was nice to see him fighting hard and trying hard. His fitness was surprisingly good for being off the bike for so long. We knew he was coming back to the races a little bit early, but his health is good. Now he needs time on the bike. The best place to get better is at the races. Jimmy is excited to race at his home National in Southwick, so it will be fun to watch him in the sand.
“Regarding the 450 guys, Weston Peick fought hard and rode strong. He definitely could do better if he didn’t have his hurt hand. That’s the only thing holding him back. Justin Hill fell in practice and wasn’t feeling as good as he usually does, but he had a good ride. We want podiums, but we are getting close. Now we just need a few things to go our way.”
The 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship will continue this upcoming Saturday, June 30th at the sands of Southwick, Massachusetts for the sixth round of the series.