Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias and Roger Hayden Ready to Defend MotoAmerica Superbike Championship Sweep
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias and Roger Hayden delivered identical lap times on their GSX-R1000 Superbikes to lead all other riders on Wednesday, December 6th, the first day of a three-day MotoAmerica and Dunlop test, at Thunderhill Raceway Park, in Willows, California. The test was the first opportunity for the pair to ride their GSX-R1000’s since both riders renewed their contracts with the Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team for the upcoming season, defending the team’s 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship sweep. At the end of the test, both riders were near the top of the time charts.
Elias will be defending the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship he earned with the all-new 2017 GSX-R1000. Teammate Hayden rode his way into a strong, runner-up position in the championship to give Suzuki a dominant one-two sweep in the premier Superbike class. During the test both riders experimented with new settings and equipment, including an innovative compact fuel tank designed to improve the handling of the already nimble GSX-R1000 race bikes.
Since joining the Yoshimura squad in 2016, MotoGP veteran Elias has been a force on the MotoAmerica circuit. In many contests only Hayden, who starts his eighth year campaigning a Suzuki GSX-R1000, has been able to match Toni’s speed and determination. Both racers tackled the challenge of the new GSX-R1000 that arrived with greater speed and handling but required new benchmark set-up data for each racetrack.
“This is a great testament to the Yoshimura team, Toni and Roger, that they were able to deliver excellent results on an all-new GSX-R1000; many times at tracks we never had the chance to visit before on the new bike,” said Suzuki Race Support Manager, Pat Alexander. “It’s even a greater compliment to the Suzuki engineers who developed the GSX-R1000 as it was such a good platform for us to begin with it and it could instantly adapt to each track and deliver a winning performance. We’re excited about what our returning team and the GSX-R will be able to accomplish with what we have learned.”
Competitors in the MotoAmerica series test during the off-season so the Yoshimura Suzuki team is continually developing new suspension settings, revised chassis parts, and upgraded engine components. While the technicians are increasing motorcycle performance, the riders stay on top of their fitness so their GSX-R1000 Superbikes will continue to dominate the series. This winning performance is something Suzuki strives for. For decades, Suzuki has been the most successful brand in AMA Superbike. No other manufacturer comes close to approaching the number of records that Suzuki has set within this genre of racing. From number of championships captured, to overall races won, to pole positions set, Suzuki stands alone.
The 2018 MotoAmerica season begins on April 13, 2018 with the Suzuki Championship at Road Atlanta (Georgia). To learn more about MotoAmerica roadracing and the upcoming season, please visit www.motoamerica.com. Race fans can learn more about Team Yoshimura Suzuki and their efforts in professional roadracing, Supercross and Motocross by visiting www.yoshimura-racing.com. Street riders and racers can learn more about the 2018 version of the championship caliber GSX-R1000 models by visiting SuzukiCycles.com.