Team Suzuki Press Office – April 23.
Kyle Peters – #76 RM-Z250 – 3rd
Weston Peick – #34 RM-Z450 – 6th
Malcolm Stewart – #27 RM-Z450 – 7th
The Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing team stormed into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough for round 15 of the 2018 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. Suzuki RM-Z250 mounted Kyle Peters was the feel-good story of the day.
Overcoming adversity while racing with a torn ACL and MCL, Peters scored a season-best third place finish, while in the 450 class, Weston Peick logged the third-quickest qualifying time and placed sixth in the Main on the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450. Team-mate Malcolm Stewart nearly matched his career best by finishing seventh in the Main Event.
Televised live on FOX and having the distinction of being the first day-time race of the year, the Foxborough Supercross attracted 38,404 fans who witnessed true heart and determination from RM-Z250 rider Peters. Earlier in the week it was announced that Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team’s Peters sustained a major knee injury at the previous round in Minneapolis, but that didn’t stop the Greensboro native from moving through the field on his way to third place. The podium performance moved him to within two points of fifth place in the championship standings with one round remaining of the 250 class.
After a standout performance in Minneapolis, Suzuki RM-Z450 rider Peick was looking for more. He displayed impressive speed in the morning qualifying sessions, logging the third fastest time in the 450 class. In the Main Event, Peick crossed the first turn inside the top 10 and methodically worked his way up to sixth place on the soft, rutty track and is sixth in the championship point standings with two races left in the 450 series.
It’s no secret that Stewart has the pace to finish on the podium. Riding strong on his RM-Z450, he finished third in his heat race and gated well in the Main. Stewart fought valiantly on a treacherous track that offered very little margin of error. He finished seventh when the dust settled and moved closer to ninth in the championship point standings.
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 3rd Place]:
“I’m speechless! I can’t believe how the day ended considering how much pain I was in on Saturday morning. During track walk I knew there were some rhythm sections that I wouldn’t be able to do, because my left knee obviously isn’t strong. I struggled in practice and qualifying. After the final session, we put more tape on my knee in order to keep it stable. I was very tentative in the heat race, as I was worried about my knee. The goal was to put as little time on the bike as possible, but I didn’t qualify through the heat race. I won the LCQ, which loosened me up and provide the confidence I needed.
“I got a really good start on my Suzuki RM-Z250 from the outside and was sitting in fourth for a while. I told myself that I was going to crash-out before I would settle for fourth place, because I had nothing to lose. I made it happen. I cannot thank the Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team enough for their support and hard work. They gave me the best opportunities to run up front and reach my potential. It has been a long five years since I last visited the podium, so I’m glad to finish third this weekend.”
Weston Peick [450 Class, 6th Place]:
“It was an early day in Foxborough, with a lot different feel in showing up for track walk at 6:30 am. The whole experience was interesting, because it was an open stadium and the sun was in my eyes quite a bit. That made it challenging to hit some of the obstacles on the track. I qualified very well in comparison to how I normally do, and that set the mood for the Main Event. I got caught up in traffic in the heat race and finished fourth. For some reason, I was super delayed coming off the line when the gate dropped, so I was basically playing catch up. The track was very soft in spots, with pebble rocks everywhere. I made my way up to sixth place, which was good considering where I was after the first lap.”
Malcolm Stewart [450 Class, 7th Place]:
“The day went well. It was the first day race I had this season, which was different. The weather wasn’t too bad, because I’ve been staying in North Carolina and getting used to the cold temperatures. I’ll admit that I was yawning in the first practice while hitting the rhythms, because I was tired from waking up so early! My heat race went off around the same time as the normal afternoon Supercross qualifier would go off, so that was strange. Still, racing during the day was cool, aside from the sun being in my eyes when I was jumping the triples. I was happy to finish seventh. The goal is to only get better from here.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager]:
“I will be the first to admit that we weren’t expecting what we got from Peters, considering that he has a blown-out knee. It was great to see him finish on the podium. He will do rehab and be better by the Supercross finale in Las Vegas. He won’t ride until then, so that may help.
“Peick rode well, but he needs to work on his starts. He makes things happen in the first turn, but he would have a better result if he put himself in a better position off the start. I was hoping that Peick would podium, because he has the capability to do so. Stewart seemed to get stronger throughout the day. He has two more rounds to get that top-five finish, which is very possible.
“It was great to see Jimmy Decotis at the races again, even if he wasn’t competing. Decotis was cheering on Peters, which was cool to see. As for the daytime Supercross schedule, I thought it was a good idea. Maybe it would be best if we did the track walk the day before, because doing the track walk at 6:30 am was a bit early. Still, you can’t beat being live on FOX television, and the Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team received a lot of attention.”
The Autotrader/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 28th for round 16 of the series.