Team Suzuki Press Office – August 16.
Justin Bogle (RCH Yoshimura Suzuki) – 7th
Matt Bisceglia (RCH Yoshimura Suzuki) – 14th
Weston Peick (JGR Autotrader Suzuki) – 13th
Phil Nicoletti (JGR Autotrader Suzuki) – 16th.
Despite the rain, mud, gruelling conditions and a two-plus hour delay, RCH/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing riders Justin Bogle and Matt Bisceglia turned-in gritty performances in less-than-ideal conditions in the weekend’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Unadilla National at Unadilla Motocross Park in America.
Situated in central New York at a track where inclement weather is always part of the conversation, Unadilla lived up to its reputation as one of the most challenging venues on the 12-race schedule.
The starting gate dropped on the first premier 450 Class moto of the afternoon and Bisceglia snared the Holeshot Award by leading the 40-rider field around the first corner with Bogle in tow.
The RCH duo led the way for the first lap until Bogle and Bisceglia yielded their respective positions to eventual overall winner Marvin Musquin.
Bogle’s Suzuki RM-Z450 was a fixture in the top four throughout the first moto but Bisceglia’s time at the front of the field was short lived: He lost the bars on his machine with 20 minutes remaining and was back to the pits before the chequered flag came down. Bogle went on to finish fourth while Bisceglia was saddled with a 38th-place finish.
Much like it has in the past, weather became a key storyline when thunderstorms moved through, forcing AMA officials to declare the first moto official at the 27-minute mark and delaying the start of the second for over two hours.
With darkness looming and more storms approaching, race officials shortened the length of the second moto to 20 minutes, plus one lap.
The gate eventually fell on the second and final 450 Class moto shortly before 6pm local time and Bisceglia made-up for his trials in the first race by rounding the first corner eighth in the running order. Bogle struggled out of the gate, falling back to deep in the field but never quit and made forward progress as the race wore on.
Bisceglia remained a staple inside the top eight for the rest of the moto while Bogle steadily gained ground and in the end, Bisceglia came home seventh while Bogle rallied from the challenging start to finish 10th.
Bogle’s solid 4-10 showing was enough for a respectable seventh-place overall finish at Round 10 while his team-mate’s 38-7 effort translated into 14th overall.
“It was a tough day out there but I feel pretty good with seventh overall,” said Bogle, who holds down seventh in the points. “Unadilla is a tough place and it definitely lived up to its reputation. The bike was really good all day and we got out of there with a top 10. There’s two races left so hopefully we can keep building some momentum and move up a spot or two in points before the year is over.”
“All in all, I’m happy with my day at Unadilla,” added Bisceglia. “I ended up ripping a good start in the first moto and drilled the holeshot. I led a couple laps, which was awesome. I haven’t led in while so that was really big for me. I was going up the hill before the big U-Turn and I gave the bike a handful of that Suzuki power and ended up on my butt. I looped it out up the hill and spent the next two laps trying to start my bike so I ended up with a DNF. Second moto, I started way outside but somehow ripped a good start. That race was all about survival. I finished seventh so I’m happy to get a single-digit finish. On to Budds Creek. I want to get a couple more top 10s, some single-digit finishes next weekend and I’ll be stoked.”
JGR Autotrader Suzuki:
Phil Nicoletti made his return to racing after a six-month hiatus due to injury. The New Yorker rode a consistent first moto in 12th. Then the skies opened up, leaving a deluge. A first turn crash, followed by a pit stop, left Nicoletti mired in the pack. The #37 dug deep and sliced through the field to 18th place. His 12-18 moto scores left him in 16th by day’s end.
Weston Peick was charging forward in the first moto – a good sign that “The Viking” is gradually overcoming his wrist injury from Supercross. The SoCal native struggled in the treacherous second moto conditions, saying “The second moto was a blood bath. Growing up in California really showed my true mud skills…not!” Peick’s 6-20 moto scores placed him 13th overall.