Team Suzuki Press Office – July 11.
Toni Elias and Roger Hayden dominated the weekend’s sixth round of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship aboard their new 2017 Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery.
Run in conjunction with the World Superbike Championship round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Elias claimed two impressive victories with Hayden second in both; a repeat of the previous round results at Utah Motorsports Complex.
The two victories pushed Elias’ tally for the season to eight wins and extends his series lead to 40 points after 12 of 20 races. His winning streak now extends to five in a row, giving him firm control of the championship.
Hayden too continued to show amazing speed on his 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 in qualifying and he earned a series-leading fourth Superpole of the season on Saturday.
The event enjoyed an enthusiastic fan turnout with perfect weather, as they watched the Yoshimura Suzuki duo engage in an exciting battle for most of Saturday’s race. Hayden came up half-a-second short of team-mate Elias at the finish, but on Sunday, Hayden led the majority of the race, but Elias made a pass on the final lap. Hayden then fought back, but ran wide in the final turn; the margin of victory being 1.39 seconds.
Said Elias: “It was an amazing weekend. The conditions were a little cooler today. I struggled a bit and Roger was very strong. Fortunately, I was able to pass Roger on the last lap and get the second victory of the weekend. I’m very happy with the way the team is working together. It is perfect.
“Winning both races helped give me a gap in the standings and that is important because this season still has a lot of races. I am looking forward to going to Sonoma and I will try to continue doing what we are doing. If we can keep winning it will be perfect, but if we can’t and have to take second, that will be good too.”
Hayden continues to be a serious contender and is hopeful that he’ll find the right combo for more wins.
“We got the pole again this weekend, so I was pretty excited about that,” Hayden explained. “In race Saturday’s first race, I pretty much followed Toni around. Then we made some changes to the bike and it was a lot better for today’s race. I tried to hold onto the lead, but Toni got by me in turn two on the last lap. I tried to throw a Hail Mary on the last turn, but he was protecting the inside line. I knew it was a long shot and it didn’t quite work. I’m looking forward to getting back to Sonoma and hopefully we can finish strong in the last four events.”
Elias now has 260 points to Hayden’s 220. Third in the championship is Cameron Beaubier with 180 points.
The series now take a mid-summer break before coming back on August 11-13th for round seven at Sonoma Raceway.