Team Suzuki Press Office – March 18.
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 6th Place]
Alex Martin [250 Class, 9th Place]
Chad Reed [450 Class, 11th Place]
Justin Hill [450 Class, 14th Place]
The JGRMX/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team headed to Indianapolis, Indiana for round 11 of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship and the sixth stop of the 250 Eastern Regional Supercross Series at the weekend.
Despite a series of unfortunate events in the “Race Capital of the World,” the 250 and 450 teams all qualified strong and charged hard throughout the night.
RM-Z250 rider Kyle Peters earned his best finish in the 250 main event after logging strong results in qualifying. Peters attacked the high-speed track with control and speed. After leading the pack for seven laps, he was passed but still managed to finish third in his heat. In the 250 main, he came through the first turn in fourth and held a top-five position for 13 laps, finishing in sixth place, which marked the best finish of his Supercross season.
Teammate Alex Martin was hopeful to have a breakout performance in Indianapolis as the Suzuki RM-Z250 rider recorded the second-fastest lap in daytime qualifying and finished third in his 250 heat race. Although luck was not on A-Mart’s side in the main, he is never one to quit: After getting tangled with several riders in the first turn, he dug deep and moved up to ninth after being in last place for several laps. The gutsy ride helped Martin maintain his notable fourth place standing in the overall points.
“I was super happy to qualify second in practice,” said Martin. “It was the most comfortable I felt before on a super rutted track. I had a great start in the main, but got sandwiched and fell in the first turn. It was damage control and bittersweet, because I had the speed and capabilities to be on the podium.”
Two-time 450 Supercross Champion Chad Reed celebrated his 37th birthday over the weekend and looked to continue rewriting the history books. Racing his RM-Z450 in custom birthday graphics, Reed qualified ninth-fastest in the daytime sessions and fourth in his heat race. After a bad start in the 450 main, the Australian collided with another rider and fell. Reed charged his way up from the back of the pack to 11th when the chequered flag flew.
Teammate Justin Hill was determined to ride the wave of confidence after earning a season-best the prior weekend in Daytona. The Suzuki RM-Z450 rider looked extremely comfortable in his first timed practice. Although he improved during the final session, Hill was bumped back to fifth in combined times. The 23-year-old finished eighth in his heat race and hovered around the top-10 during the early laps in the 450 main. While executing a tricky triple jump, Hill touched the back of another rider and crashed, finishing in a disappointing 14th place.
“In the 450 class, Hill qualified well,” said Team Manager Jeremy Albrecht. “It was cool to see him do jumps that no one else was doing. Unfortunately, he came together with another rider in the main event and crashed.”
The JGRMX/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to Centurylink Field in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday, March 23rd for the 12th round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship. This will also serve as the seventh round of the 250 West Regional Supercross series.
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 6th Place]:
“It was a good day. We are still progressing, and the speed is coming up. I’m able to run the lead pace for longer and getting more comfortable at that pace. I still have a few areas to work on with Buddy Antunez, mainly in the 90-degree turns. I always want to improve, and I felt that I could have finished fifth this weekend. Unfortunately, I was dealing with some stomach cramps at the end of the race. However, the team made it happen for me and I earned my best result of the season. That’s something to build on.”
Alex Martin [250 Class, 9th Place]:
“I was super-happy to qualify second in practice. It was the most comfortable I felt before on a super rutted track. It set me up for the first gate pick in my heat, which was nice. We made some changes with the clutch this past week, and I made really good progress with my starts. We finally figured some things out. I had a great start in the main, but got sandwiched and fell in the first turn. I picked up my bike and was dead last. It took two laps to even catch anyone. I was motoring and got up to ninth at the checkers. It was damage control and bittersweet, because I had the speed and capabilities to be on the podium. I’m bummed, but I’m also looking forward to this break to start testing for outdoors.”
Chad Reed [450 Class, 11th Place]:
“The goal was to put together a more complete weekend. I was competitive in qualifying practice and possibly rode my best main of the season. As a team we made great progress throughout the weekend. Unfortunately, I had a crash on the opening lap of the main event and I was charging back from 22nd place. Still, I was happy with my pace for the race. Starts are frustrating. I feel like a golfer going through a bad swing cycle. I was awesome all off-season with my starts, and now find myself frustrated with my starts. I will continue working on this area.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 14th Place]:
“It was a really rough main event. I hit neutral off the start, followed by a big crash a few laps in. I’m upset with the result, but also really happy with the bike. I’m feeling good and ready for Seattle.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager]:
“The results in the main events don’t show how well the guys were riding throughout the day. Alex Martin figured out that he needed to do a triple after the mechanic’s area in the main event. He was going for the holeshot in the main event and fell in the first corner. He fought really hard to get up to ninth. Kyle Peters keeps improving every week. He almost won his heat race. He started using lines to block riders behind him instead of taking the faster lines. Kyle rode well in the main and got sixth. He still wants to be better, which is great to see.
“In the 450 class, Justin Hill qualified well. He looked great during press day. It was cool to see him do jumps that no one else was doing. Unfortunately, he ended up hitting another rider in the main event and crashed. Chad Reed also went down in the main. It was just one of those nights that wasn’t kind to us. Still, it was great that we were able to surprise Chad for his birthday with custom graphics.”