SUZUKI’S KELLY CONTINUES TO DOMINATE SUPERSPORT IN SEARCH OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Brea, CA – Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer racked up two wins and five podiums as the 2021 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship completed a scorching weekend of race action at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington.
MotoAmerica Supersport title leader Sean Dylan Kelly and his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 were more than up to the challenge presented by his competition and the relentless triple-digit temperatures.
‘SDK’ notched up another pole and then translated his one-lap superiority into a pair of critically important race victories. Sunday’s race followed the same basic pattern as Saturday’s with Kelly controlling from the front while remaining precise and in command despite the application of intense pressure from close behind all the way to the checkered flag.
As a result, the Floridian now boasts a 21-point championship advantage on the strength of the five-race wins he’s already earned in 2021.
“That was definitely a tough race… as if yesterday wasn’t tough enough!” Kelly said. “I went out and tried my absolute best and gave my all. It was a great weekend. We got pole again, set the track record, and won both races. We have to be proud of the job we’re doing. This feels amazing, but we just have to keep chipping away and keep our feet on the ground. Huge thank you to my M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team.”
Kelly was joined on the podium on both days by Salvadoran Kevin Olmedo aboard his Team Hammer-built Altus Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R600.
SDK’s M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Sam Lochoff logged a pair of fourths to add to his impressive rookie MotoAmerica Supersport campaign. As good as that was, the South African came painfully close to scoring a second-career Supersport podium on Sunday, holding down third position until a last-lap off-track excursion opened the door for Olmedo. Lochoff now sits in third place in the Supersport championship points standings.
Outside of Cameron Petersen adding a third-consecutive MotoAmerica Superbike podium on Saturday, the weekend was one to learn and move on from in the premier class category.
Petersen was solidly positioned to continue his podium streak to four on Sunday before a fluke occurrence, a rear wheel speed sensor failure, forced him to slow and eventually accept sixth position.
The round was even more difficult for Petersen’s M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate, Bobby Fong, who struggled after crashing hard and destroying his ‘A’ bike during testing on Thursday. Due to lingering issues from his testing fall, Fong lost feeling in his hand during both races. The gritty Californian pushed to his maximum in the blisteringly hot conditions yet was only rewarded for his efforts with uncharacteristic seventh- and eighth-place results.
“We’re trying,” Fong said. “Obviously, we’re trying our hardest over here. It’s not like I forgot how to ride a motorcycle, and we’re giving it our all. I don’t give up, I don’t quit. All the stars have to be aligned in Superbike racing, and we’re going to give it our best at the next round.”
Olmedo’s Altus Motorsports Suzuki teammate Jake Lewis remains within eight points of the Stock 1000 championship lead after claiming a runner-up result aboard his Team Hammer-built GSX-R1000 on Saturday. Unfortunately, a Sunday DNF more than ate up the title padding he had accumulated, but that padding also sees him still within striking distance despite his Sunday misfortune. M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Wyatt Farris finished ninth and eighth in the Stock 1000 races in Washington.
Team Hammer will remain on the West Coast for the upcoming MotoAmerica round at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in beautiful Monterey, California, on July 9-11.
More, from a press release issued by Altus Motorsports:
MotoAmerica: Round 4 Results from The Ridge Motorsports Park for the Altus Motorsports Tucker Environmental Service Solutions Team
(Shelton, WA) A record-breaking heat wave hit the Pacific Northwest just as the MotoAmerica teams rolled into the pits at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington. With temperatures well over 100 degrees, it was an extremely hot weekend for racing. Dunlop hosted a tire test at “The Ridge” on the Thursday before the event and the Altus team was there to gather data and continue learning the highly technical track.
Honos Superbike & Stock 1000:
After missing the 2020 race season, Jake Lewis arrived in Washington with no experience of the technical Ridge Motorsports Park track. The team struggled to find a good setup during the Dunlop tire on Thursday and the practice and qualifying sessions on Friday. Due to a change by MotoAmerica, the top Stock1000 riders practiced and qualified with the Superbike Class this weekend. On Saturday the team found something and in Jake’s second qualifying session, he ran the fastest Stock1000 lap and secured pole position for those races
In Race 1 of the Stock1000 class, Jake got a great start and pulled a small gap. Unfortunately, in the heat, his rear tire had rotated 180 degrees on the rim making the bike difficult to ride. With two laps to go, he dropped to 2nd and held that spot to the finish. Lewis also got a great start on Sunday but a mechanical on the first lap forced him to retire from the race.
“We had a minor mechanical issue at the start of the Sunday Stock1000 race. If it wasn’t for Jake’s experience and quick thinking, it could have been much worse,” said Crew Chief Eric Gray.
Lewis also contested the Superbike class and started both races from 9th. In race 1 he finished in 9th and second in the Superbike Cup. In the Sunday race, he fished in 14th overall and as the 4th Superbike Cup bike.
Jaret Nassaney came out with the team for the pre-race weekend tire test. He spent the time dialing in his setup. Jaret started both races from 11th. He finished Saturday in 8th and Sunday in 9th.
“It was a really good weekend. We survived the heat and got some good results. We have a solid base setup for the rest of the season,” said Jaret Nassaney.
The Ridge was Kevin Olmedo’s second event back with the team after his shoulder surgery. The benefits of the additional recovery time showed from the first session. Kevin was top 4 in every session and qualified 3rd. In the Saturday race, he held third from start to finish. In the Sunday race, he ran in fourth for most of the race but, on the penultimate lap, made a pass to take third. He finished the weekend with two podiums.
“I feel really happy with these two podiums. I will continue to work on the strength in my shoulder and show up even stronger at Laguna,” said Kevin Olmedo
It was Hayden Bicknese’s first trip to Ridge Motorsports Park but he adapted to the technical track quickly. He was P6 after the first qualifying session and ended up qualifying P9. Unfortunately, he was forced to retire from Race 1 with a mechanical issue. In race 2, an unfortunate crash on lap 5 ended Hayden’s weekend with a second DNF.
“Those were some of the toughest conditions our team has had to work through. The heat was brutal and I appreciate the incredible effort they put in,” said team owner George Nassaney.
The Altus Motorsports team is supported by our great family of sponsors: Altus Motorsports, Environmental Service Solutions, Suzuki Motor USA, Creative Sports Concepts, Tucker Powersports, Schaefer Engineering, Hot Bodies Racing, M4 Exhausts, Vortex EK, Motion Pro, Barnett, VP Lubricants, SBS Brakes, Galfer USA, Moto-D Racing, Bonamici, Ohlins, K-Tech, RS Taichi, Arai, Law Tigers Oklahoma, and Altus Factory Racing.
More, from a press release issued by Jackson Blackmon Racing:
Blackmon Wins Both Twins Cup Races At The Ridge
Jackson Blackmon was looking for redemption this past weekend in Washington after his third, 2nd place finish this season. Jackson Blackmon Racing has been trying different setups with their 2021 Yamaha MT-07 every race since VIR. It seemed that the MotoAmerica test day on Thursday was just what Blackmon needed to get even more comfortable on his Yamaha. The pace was fast all weekend, however for JBR they were able to improve every session to have their best qualifying of the year!
From his second place starting position, Blackmon, in race one, was able to lead the first lap however it wasn’t long before another rider passed him on lap two. In the middle of the race, another rider got to the front and stretched out a slight gap, however Blackmon would stay within striking distance. The leader then crashed out of the race. This would put Blackmon in a battle for the lead. Blackmon executed the pass on the brakes in turn thirteen the penultimate lap to then take his first Twins Cup victory.
In Race 2, Blackmon executed the perfect race, marking his first flag-to-flag victory in Twins Cup leading from start to finish the whole race.
Jackson Blackmon Racing has now had 5 starts and 5 podiums, with two of them being victories and have a lot of momentum rolling into Laguna. Despite Blackmon missing the first round with a broken wrist, he has come back strong putting himself 2nd in the championship standing, just 3 points out of the lead.
Blackmon was quoted as saying, “I was so happy to take my first win and then able to back it up with two in a row. My dad and I have been working so hard on the bike and with the support from Yamaha we have been able to make the machine handle amazing. We have found a happy baseline setup with my MT-07 and I feel that now I can just focus on my riding and racecraft. I would like to say thank you to each and everyone of my and sponsors and supporters for their help this year. Can’t wait to carry the momentum to Laguna!”
Will we see Blackmon on the new R7 soon? Stay tuned!
JBR would like to thank their sponsors: Yamaha Motor USA, Finishline Machine, North East Cycles, Yamalube, Trackday Winner, GP Tech, Wiseco Pistons, HJC Helmets, Roaring Toyz, Millennium Technologies, OneX, Web Cams, SBS Brakes, Vortex, and 64 Degrees.
Don’t miss any of the action. Be sure to follow Jackson on Facebook:@JacksonBlackmon18 and Instagram @JBlackmon_18
Single race sponsorship opportunities are still available for the 2021 season. Contact Jackson [email protected]
More, from a press release issued by Jeremy Cook Racing:
Jeremy Cook Racing features team of U.S. Marines veterans days after Cook’s collarbone surgery for MotoAmerica Superbikes at the Ridge
BMW rider back on the Stock 1000 grid after suffering multiple injuries in crash at previous MotoAmerica round
SHELTON, Wash. – As MotoAmerica veteran Jeremy Cook boarded a plane Thursday heading from his home city of Baltimore, Md., to Seattle, the BMW rider hoped his trip wouldn’t be in vain. Just two weeks after suffering multiple injuries in a crash at MotoAmerica’s Superbikes at Road America and days after having his shattered collarbone surgically repaired, Cook wasn’t sure if he’d be medically cleared to race at MotoAmerica’s round on June 25-27 at Ridge Motorsports Park.
In the end, Cook was cleared to race and led his team of U.S. Marines veterans to two 16th-place finishes in the weekend’s MotoAmerica Stock 1000 races aboard his BMW S 1000 RR. Just making it to the end of each 13-lap race in brutally hot and humid conditions was a challenge for the ailing Cook, but the former Marine saw the mission through and hopes to be back to better form at the next MotoAmerica round in two weeks time.
It was Cook’s first time racing at The Ridge Motorsports Park. He took part in a track day event at the facility in May thanks to support from South Sound Motorcycles — a BMW dealership in Tacoma, Wash.
Cook sat out the test day on Thursday and both Stock 1000 Class on-track sessions on Friday. He finished Saturday morning’s qualifying session in 17th.
Though he was far from 100 percent healthy, Cook finished both of the weekend’s races higher in the running order than he started. Cook started 20nd on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s race, and attrition farther up the field and a late-race pass allowed Cook to finish in 16th — one position away from scoring a championship point. Cook also improved his pace around the 2.47-mile road course on Saturday, posting a best lap time of 1:49.513 in Race 1 compared to the 1:50.933 he laid down in qualifying.
In Sunday’s Stock 1000 contest, Cook started from 21st but had moved up to 18th by the end of Lap 1 and 17th by the end of Lap 5. Cook again made a move late in the race to gain another position and claimed his second 16th-place finish of the weekend. He again improved his pace, lowering his best lap time of the weekend to a 1:48.593.
Cook’s team for the weekend included U.S. Marine veteran and Motorcycle Xcitement rider coach Dakari Harris and U.S. Marine veteran Don Williams – a participant in the Veterans Empowered through Motorsports program.
Cook has two weeks to heal up before he’s due back on the MotoAmerica grid. The next round takes place July 9-11 at the home of the famed “Corkscrew” turn, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
Jeremy Cook / No. 81
“I wasn’t even sure if I could make it through both races with all the injuries I am dealing with right now, and just seeing the checkered flag in both races was like a small victory. I just took it one day at a time and tried to not push myself too hard, as we’re not even halfway through the season yet. I was really happy with how much my lap times improved from Saturday to Sunday, given that I’m eight days out from having had my collarbone pinned back together. It also was great to have a team of Marine vets helping me out this weekend, and it was a pleasure having Don join the team for this round thanks to Veterans Empowered through Motorsports. He did a great job and I’m looking forward to having more fellow Marine veterans be part of the team in the future. I think what the team and I accomplished this weekend shows what Marine vets are capable of!”
More, from a press release issued by Travis Wyman Racing:
Wyman scores podium, remains atop Superbike Cup standings at conclusion of MotoAmerica Superbikes at the Ridge
BMW rider perseveres through bike troubles, 100-degree temperatures to remain in contention for two MotoAmerica titles at Ridge Motorsports Park
SHELTON, Wash. — There were plenty of setbacks for the Travis Wyman Racing BMW team at MotoAmerica’s Superbikes at the Ridge, yet the team found ways to overcome several technical problems and the brutally hot conditions to score a podium finish and remain atop the Superbike Cup standings.
The Las Vegas rider endured a rear tire problem and engine overheating issues with his BMW S 1000 RR on Saturday but finished the June 25-27 event at The Ridge Motorsports Park with a third place in Sunday’s Stock 1000 race and second-best finish among the Superbike Cup riders in Sunday’s Superbike race.
Wyman left The Ridge with a six-point lead in the MotoAmerica Superbike Cup points standings and is fourth in the battle for the Stock 1000 title.
Wyman and the other top four riders in the Superbike Cup practiced and qualified with the Superbike Class at The Ridge round. Wyman posted a best time of 1:44.120 in Superbike practice on Friday, which was the second-fastest time among the Superbike Cup riders and the 11th-best time when compared to the Superbike riders. Later Friday, Wyman finished the day’s qualifying session 10th with a time of 1:44.133.
Qualifying concluded Saturday morning with Wyman securing second on the weekend’s Stock 1000 starting grid with a lap time of 1:42.881.
The first of four races Wyman took part in — in searing 100 degree or higher temperatures — was Saturday’s Stock 1000 race. After getting a mediocre start, Wyman recovered to finish the first lap in fourth place. However, a problem with his rear tire affected his BMW’s handling and its ability to get good drive out of corners. After a near-highside as he exited the track’s last turn, Wyman dropped as low as eighth in the running order. He moved up one position on Lap 8 but had to settle for a seventh-place finish while running lap times about a second slower than the race leaders.
In the Saturday Superbike race, Wyman’s fast pace was brought to a halt by a problem with his motorcycle’s cooling system. Starting from 12th, Wyman had worked his way up to ninth place in two laps but had to retire from the race on Lap 4 when water began spraying from his BMW’s catch can.
The team worked on ways to keep Wyman’s BMW running cooler Saturday night, and its efforts proved worthwhile Sunday. In the day’s Stock 1000 race, Wyman recovered from dropping to fifth place at the end of Lap 1 to scoring his third podium finish of the 2021 Stock 1000 season. Later Sunday, Wyman got a good start in the Superbike race and brought his BMW home in 11th place, the second-best finish among the Superbike Cup riders.
The Travis Wyman Racing BMW team has two weeks to freshen up the team’s BMW S 1000 RR before it heads to the next MotoAmerica round, which is slated for July 9-11 at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif.
Travis Wyman / No. 10
“It was a pretty frustrating weekend at The Ridge, but the good results I got on Sunday — especially the podium in Stock 1000 — made the struggle worthwhile. I’ve taught at racetracks around the world and can say the conditions were some of the hottest I’ve endured in my racing career. My crew chief, Steve Weir, and mechanic, Alex Torres, did an outstanding job this weekend, and we wouldn’t have found the success we did on Sunday without the hard work they put in Saturday night. I owe a big thank you to Steve Korol of Evol Technology LLC for being my team’s title sponsor for the Ridge, and it’s great to be nearing the halfway point of the season and still be in the mix for two class titles. There’s still a lot of racing left to go this year, and what we overcame here at the Ridge gives the team a lot of positive momentum heading into the next round at Laguna Seca.”
More, from a press release issued by BARTCON Racing:
BARTCON Racing couldn’t be prouder of 14-year-old Kayla Yaakov, who just started her professional career in the MotoAmerica STG Junior Cup series this past weekend on board her BARTCON Racing/Coastal Kawasaki Ninja 400.
Unfortunately, Kayla had a slow start, crashing in free practice which left her with a slight shoulder injury. She battled on regardless and qualified 13th, earning her a spot on the fifth row of the grid.
Kayla took ninth in her debut in Race One followed by an excellent sixth in Race Two, which was all the more impressive considering the race was run in blistering 100-degree ambient temperatures.
Big thanks to all the BARTCON Racing/Kayla fans that swung by the paddock to wish her the best of luck and a bigger thanks to our sponsors who without their support we would not be able to make this season possible. Coastal Neurosurgery & Spine, JTS Surgical, Triple Strong Racing, Forma Boots USA, Orient Express, K-Tech Suspension, Bud Lubricants, Spears Racing, Rage Grafix.
We are all very excited for our next round in less than two weeks at Laguna Seca and hope to see all our West Coast friends, family and fans there cheering on Kayla, Dominic Doyle, and Ryne Snooks.