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Aug 14, 2018

MotoAmerica: Even More From The Races At Sonoma Raceway

Valentin Debise (53). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.


Team Hammer took another step in its long and storied history on Sunday at Sonoma Raceway, securing its 199th AMA Pro/MotoAmerica National podium finish.

The achievement came courtesy of M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Valentin Debise, who weathered Sunday's torrid pace to come home a strong second in MotoAmerica Supersport Race 2.

From the start of the race, the Frenchman attacked aggressively and spent the majority of the race battling the leader, their relentless pace leaving the chasing pack behind. In fact, Debise finished faster than Saturday's winning race time en route to second place on Sunday.

Despite missing out on the victory, Debise said he was pleased with his own performance as well as that of his crew. "The race was really, really fast. With those lap times, we were not far from a front-running Superbike pace," Debise said. "Even if the battle for the lead wasn't crazy, the pace was so fast that the race was very entertaining for me. I was pushing really hard the entire way while trying to not make any mistakes. I almost crashed in the last corner after six laps and after that save, I thought I should calm down. But I still kept my head down, put in some good laps, and finished close to the win. It was a good improvement. Once again, thank you to my M4 ECSTAR Suzuki crew; as always, they did an awesome job, and it's always a big pleasure to work with them. I cannot wait to race again in two weeks."

Even though Debise missed the opening four races of the season while recovering from injury, he now ranks third in Supersport championship points on the strength of six podium results since his return.

M4 medAge Suzuki's Nick McFadden and M4 RiCK! Suzuki's Daytona Anderson finished ninth and 14th, respectively, in Supersport Race 2. McFadden ran as high as 5th early on and his finish was enough to move him up to 4th in the championship point standings behind Debise. Anderson currently ranks 15th.

Meanwhile, Debise's M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate, Jake Lewis, put in another impressive performance in MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2.

Lewis was engaged in a multi-rider fight for fourth over the race's opening half, eventually becoming embroiled in a close, two-rider shootout for fifth as the laps ticked away. The Kentuckian stalked his opponent but, ultimately finished in sixth, just 0.225-second from notching up his 10th Superbike top-five result of the year.

"I put in a much better ride and my pace was good throughout," said Lewis. "Can't be bummed as we worked hard all weekend and I gave it my best. Thanks to the whole M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team for the hard work. See you all in Pittsburg!" Lewis is sixth in the Superbike point standings.

Team Hammer will be primed and eager to score its 200th AMA Pro/MotoAmerica National podium when the 2018 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season resumes at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, in Wampum, PA, on August 24-26.

About Team Hammer

The 2018 season marks Team Hammer's 38th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 69 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 199 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 135 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running "Methanol Monster" GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.

More, from a press release issued by RiCKdiculous Racing:

Team RiCK Heads to Wine Country!

The RiCKdiculous Racing Team came in to wine country after a few weeks off since the Utah round in July. Each rider was itching to get on track and improve their results after the short, mid-season break.

After a couple successful stints in the American Flat Track Series, Hayden Gillim was ready to get back to road racing this weekend at Sonoma Raceway. Coming in to the weekend with a solid hold on second place in the Championship, Hayden knew it was important to continue his podium streak and keep some distance between himself and third place. Gillim started the weekend off strong, throwing down blistering lap times on practice on Friday and into Saturday morning to cement a second place on the grid and continue his streak of all front row starts for the year. Saturday’s race proved to be one of the most exciting of the year as Hayden got one of his best starts as he and the other front riders exchanged the lead throughout the race, and gave the fans at Sonoma a great show! After battling all race, Hayden finished in third. Sunday’s race started off with another amazing start from Hayden where he was able to hang with the leaders for a few laps, but the pace and grip pushed Gillim out of contention for the top spot on the box. He rode amazingly well to continue his podium streak and brought home third place for Team RiCK! Gillim states, “I knew I had the pace all weekend to win but unfortunately wasn’t able to bring it home in either of the races. I can’t thank my crew and the entire RiCK team enough for their continued support. I look forward to getting myself and the bike where we need to be to continue fighting the top spot in Pittsburgh!”

Jason Aguilar came into Sonoma with a chip on his shoulder after being medically unfit to compete with a concussion in Utah. Despite not training for the last 4 weeks, Aguilar shone from the beginning of practice on Friday, and was able to qualify in ninth position heading in to Race 1. With hot temperatures and a slightly greasy track, Aguilar rode a great race and brought his RiCKdiculous Racing R6 home in eighth position, an awesome top ten finish on a very difficult track! Sunday proved to be a very different story as Jason seemed to attack the track with a higher intensity than the day before. He was more aggressive in Sunday warm-up, and it carried over to the race later that day. After getting a great start, Jason moved up through the pack and found himself battling for fourth with two other riders. He was able to get .300 within the lap times of the leaders but unfortunately his lack of recent training and the demanding nature of Sonoma Raceway caused Jason to drop out of contention for fourth. He did an amazing job holding pace and coming home with an amazing sixth position! “Coming into the weekend I had no expectations, I was just hoping to get cleared to ride again. I gave it my all throughout the whole weekend, despite my lack of fitness. I’m not stoked with the results, but I am happy with the fast laps and all the improvement. Can’t wait to be back with the Rick crew in Pittsburgh!”

RiCKdiculous Racing’s Junior Cup racer, Gauge Rees, came into the weekend fired up after his amazing effort in the Utah round. Each weekend Rees has improved his finishing position and he came in to Friday focused and ready to continue that trend. After an amazing final lap in the first qualifying, Rees sat in eighth heading in the second qualifier Saturday morning. Rees was able to pull off some last lap magic again, and finished Q2 in sixth position, over one second ahead of his qualifying time the day before. With the combination of his qualifying sessions he started P7. Race 1 proved to be a knife fight from the tight Turn 1 at Sonoma. After the riders got separated into a couple different groups, Rees battled with a group of riders, eventually leading the pack until unfortunately Rees low-sided in to turn one and had to retire. After a quick regroup and some minor repairs on the bike, Rees was poised to improve on his Race 1 results in Sunday’s Race 2. Again, the race started off in chaotic fashion, which put Rees back in a group fighting for tenth position. After battling back and forth the race was called due to a red flag and Rees finished the race in twelfth position. Despite this result, Rees did an amazing job all weekend and rode with a tremendous amount of poise and maturity. “Sonoma was a good weekend for me even though the results weren’t the best. I was able to put some pieces together and figure out how to do better in qualifying, which has been a weak point for me all season. I’m really looking forward to the next round at Pittsburgh since it is a track that really fits my riding style. I can hardly wait!”

Ken Hill adds. "Sonoma is the most physically demanding track we go to on the MotoAmerica circuit and with the warmer temps, the riders knew it was going to be a tough battle. The crew also had their own battle to wage as setting the bike up for the challenging track is always a compromise. The team looks for forward momentum no matter how small and this weekend didn't disappoint, the Rick riders kicked butt this weekend! Both 600 races were dogfights! Race 1 was was fast, but race 2 saw a blistering pace between JD, Valentin and Hayden, with Hayden challenging for the lead both days. Jason also moved his program ahead, showing the speed we knew he was capable in race 2. The bar in the Jr Cup races keeps getting set higher and higher and we couldn't be more thrilled with how Gauge is progressing. Gauge had his best qualifying effort this Sonoma weekend and the team couldn't be happier with his performance. I also want to mention the success of our other Rick-trained racers. JD Beach did the double win in 600SS, using every bit of his Rick training to hold off both Valentin and Hayden in both races. Mat Scholtz, just starting the Rick development process, also scored a front row start in the premier Superbike class, an incredible feat for both rider and the Westby team. Daytona Anderson made great progress over the weekend in the ultra competitive 600 class and is looking for a breakthrough at the upcoming Pittsburgh round.

“I am amazingly proud of the way the team functioned this weekend”, said Josh Bronfman, Team President. “I continue to be amazed not only with the consistent efforts of our racers, but the nonstop commitment from our entire crew. We have developed an amazing family who tirelessly work toward the goal of winning a championship. The entire team took this effort to Sonoma and it clearly showed with how well everyone did. All three racers qualified within the top ten, and all made significant strides in their riding. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the RiCK family and look forward to Pittsburgh!”

RiCKdiculous Racing would like to think all of their sponsors for their continued support and dedication to our program. We couldn’t do it without you! Thanks to Renthal, Galfer, Quicksilver, Motion Pro, Superbike Unlimited, Blucru and Graves Motorsports!

RiCKdiculous Racing is a Father and Son owned operation that includes not only a professional race team but the most elite coaching school in the United States. To get the same coaching and training that our professional athletes get, go to www.rickdiculousracing.comhttp://www.rickdiculous... for information on our coaching programs. Please also find us on Facebook and Instagram at @rickdiculousracing and like us for updates on the team, the school and general RiCK stuff throughout the season!

More, from a press release issued by Jayson Uribe Racing:

Uribe Continues To Shine At Sonoma

Jayson Uribe goes from strength to strength, the Californian, one of the youngest ever competitors in the MotoAmerica Superbike category, backed up his superb qualifying performance with a double top ten finish aboard his Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda in only his third competitive ride on a 1000cc machine.

Uribe, who has scored points in all of his 2018 MotoAmerica race starts, ran a comfortable tenth in Saturday’s opening twenty two lap encounter around the 2.2 mile Sonoma Raceway, narrowly missing out on ninth at the flag.

New parts ahead of Sunday morning warm up saw the #36 confident before a tech problem meant he would enter the race blind, unsure of how the bike would behave.

Despite the uncertainty Jayson raced hard from the off, bringing his Fireblade home in tenth for the second consecutive race.

As he has in all prior championships contested, including BSB and the ultra-competitive FIM CEV Moto2 European Championship, Jayson has shown natural speed and talent and whatever the future holds, it’s looking bright.

Jayson Uribe: “I had a great closing weekend with the RoadRace Factory crew. We had some ups and downs, but overall, I couldn’t ask for anything more. We had a rough day on Friday. The team worked hard to find a fix, but I felt like I was riding a bucking bronco. Like I had forgotten how to ride a motorcycle. Little did we know that one of our front forks was malfunctioning! Saturday brought a solid battle in my race, but a bitter end to my team mate Cameron Peterson, as he got injured in a fluke “accident” that he had. Sunday was a new day, and with new parts on my bike, I felt great. We had a mechanical problem in warm up, so we went straight into the race with practically no idea how the bike would behave. I tried my best, and we scored a 10th place in both races. Race two was my first “real” top 10, seeing as I had to really fight, and no riders crashed in front of me. I’m sad to be leaving the RRF crew, but I’m walking away on my own terms and with no hard feelings towards anybody. I look forward to working with them again in the future!”

Travis Wyman (24). - Photo by BrockImaging, courtesy of Weir Everywhere Racing.

More, from a press release issued by Weir Everywhere Racing:

Travis Wyman scores podium, keeps championship bid alive at MotoAmerica Championship of Sonoma

Evol Technology/Weir Everywhere Racing BMW rider ready to make big push for Stock 1000 Class title at upcoming east coast rounds

SONOMA, Calif. -- Evol Technology/Weir Everywhere Racing BMW rider Travis Wyman maintained his bid for his first MotoAmerica championship Sunday at Sonoma Raceway.

Despite a difficult start the race, Wyman maintained his poise and was able to pilot the team’s BMW S 1000 RR to a third-place finish at the MotoAmerica Championship of Sonoma. Wyman remains one of two riders who have a realistic chance of winning the inaugural MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Class Championship.

Wyman got a mediocre start from second-place on the grid and had near-crash early in the first lap. He maintained his focus in spite of the early setbacks and quickly found himself in a four-way battle for the last two podium positions. The group was running a fast, aggressive pace. Wyman elected to hang at the back of the group and save his tires to make a big push at the end of the race. Just as Wyman was executing his strategy, the race was red-flagged and ended three laps early. Wyman had moved up to third place just before the race was stopped and ended up scoring his third podium finish of the season.

The 16 championship points Wyman earned at Sonoma have kept him within reach of the class title ahead of the series’ return to east coast. With three rounds remaining at tracks Wyman possesses ample experience racing on, he remains a strong contender to take home BMW’s first MotoAmerica title.

The Stock 1000 Class will next compete at the MotoAmerica Championship of Pittsburgh. Wyman’s experience racing at the circuit and its fast, flowing, 2.78-mile, 19-turn layout should be a good fit for the team’s BMW package.

Wyman and the entire Weir Everywhere Racing team would like to thank Evol Technology for stepping up to be the team’s title sponsor for the MotoAmerica Championship of Sonoma. Additional title sponsorship opportunities are available for the remaining three rounds of the MotoAmerica season. Contact Wyman at to learn more.

Travis Wyman / #24

“I didn’t get the best start and was struggling with the bike’s new setup early in the race. The pace of the group I was racing was intense, so I decided to let them battle and make a push at the end of the race. Just as I was my making my move to the front of the group, one of them crashed and the red flag came out. It’s too bad the race ended early, as I felt I had a good chance of moving up another position. I am happy to get a strong finish after the bad luck we had at the last two rounds and am happy to be rounding out the season at tracks I know well. I had a really good pace going in the Supersport race at Pittsburgh last year and have done a lot of laps around that track. I think the track will really suit our BMW S 1000 RR package and I am aiming to be back on the top step of the podium there. I can’t thank Evol Technology enough for their increased sponsorship support this weekend. It was great featuring them as our title sponsor for Sonoma.”

Steve Weir / Crew Chief

“Overall it was a good weekend. We didn’t have the pace we were hoping for, but Travis was really coming on at the end of the race. Unfortunately, the red flag cut his charge to the front short, but Travis did well at a track he has not raced at in five years. I am really excited for the next round at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The track layout really suits our BMW package and I am expecting good things there.”