M4 ECSTAR SUZUKI’S SEAN DYLAN KELLY TAKES CHARGE IN MOTOAMERICA SUPERSPORT
Brea, CA – Suzuki and Team Hammer upped the ante following a successful 2021 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship season opener with an even stronger Round 2, notching up two victories, two pole positions, and four podiums at Virginia International Raceway.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly continued to lead the charge, scoring the pole in MotoAmerica Supersport for a second consecutive weekend aboard his GSX-R600 and then backing it up with a fifth consecutive race win dating back to the end of the 2020 season.
‘SDK’ rounded out his weekend with a runner-up result on Sunday to leave VIR with a healthy 17-point championship advantage following four races.
“It was definitely a challenging day and we’re not satisfied at all with the P2,” a motivated Kelly said. “We’ve been working hard. We’ve got three wins so far and we’re looking for more. I promise we won’t make it as easy for the opposition at the next one. We’re going to do our homework and come back stronger at the next one,” added SDK.
“Thanks again to M4 ECSTAR Suzuki and all my guys.”
Sam Lochoff, Kelly’s young M4 ECSTAR Suzuki stablemate, continued to show vast potential early in his MotoAmerica Supersport career. After seeing a potential podium foiled by an off-track excursion that resulted in an eighth on Saturday, the South African rebounded with a fifth-place ride on Sunday to match his career best in the class.
Meanwhile, Altus Motorsports Suzuki’s Jake Lewis effectively mirrored Kelly’s weekend in Stock 1000 aboard his Team Hammer-built GSX-R1000. The Kentuckian earned the pole on Saturday and then parlayed it into his first race win since claiming the Superstock 1000 victory at Sonoma Raceway aboard an M4 ECSTAR Suzuki back in 2017.
Like Kelly, Lewis rounded out his weekend with a Sunday runner-up in a thriller that came down to the race’s final lap. As a result, Lewis now leads the Stock 1000 championship fight by a seven-point margin.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Superbike duo of Bobby Fong and Cam Petersen again demonstrated podium pace and race-winning potential but were unable to fully exploit it.
An electronics issue dropped Fong out of a fight for second on Saturday and down to an eventual 12th-place finish. As a result, he was forced to start Sunday’s rematch from the outside of Row 4. Despite the disadvantage, the charging Californian hustled his GSX-R1000 Superbike into another scrap for the podium before taking fifth in the end.
Petersen was shuffled back from third to fifth in the race’s decisive laps on Saturday. Looking to make amends, the South African got an excellent start and attempted to storm into second in the race’s opening corner, only to be pushed off track and down to last place.
Petersen spent the remainder of the race making up that lost ground, finally clawing his way to seventh at the checkered flag.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Wyatt Farris improved on his opening round performance in Stock 1000, claiming eighth and 11th-place finishes as he continues to acclimate to the team’s GSX-R1000.
Team Hammer and Suzuki will be back in action for Round 3 at high-speed Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on June 11-13.
More, from a press release issued by Cody Wyman Racing:
Cody Wyman Grabs First Career MotoAmerica Victory
It was a very successful weekend for KERmoto rider Cody Wyman at VIRginia International Raceway with a fourth-place finish on Saturday and then emerging on Sunday with a career-first victory in MotoAmerica SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup. Leaving round two third place in points standings had the New Yorker satisfied with his results.
“I was pretty hard on myself for trying to put myself in the right spot in race one, and it really backfired on me,” said Wyman. “Fourth-place points was solid, but I wanted more.”
Cody achieved his first career MotoAmerica podium last round at Road Atlanta, but wanted to improve results on finish on the top step.
“Sunday morning we tried some changes and kind of gambled into race two,” said Wyman. “I was more comfortable on the bike thanks to tuning by Weir Everywhere and Quarterley Racing to put me up front. I rode a great race until the end I had a moment and bucked myself out of the seat. Then I never gave up put my head down and got the drive of my life to draft pass for the win.”
It was Cody’s first professional victory in road racing and a long time coming for the 27-year-old.
“I’ve worked really hard since a hiatus from the sport, and it feels amazing to come back and be so strong on a different bike,” said Wyman. “We’ve got a ton of momentum and can’t wait to keep it going at Road America!”
More, from a press release issued by Altus Motorsports:
MotoAmerica: Round 2 Results from VIR for the Altus Motorsports Tucker Environmental Service Solutions Team
(Alton, VA). Round 2 of the MotoAmerica Season at Virginia International Raceway [VIR], saw solid improvements across the entire team.
Honos Superbike & Stock 1000:
After finishing just off the podium in fourth in both races at Round 1, Jake Lewis came to VIR fired up. He and the team put their heads down and improved every session. The reward for that hard work was Jake putting the Altus Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R 1000 on Pole for both the Stock 1000 races. At the season opener, the Stock 1000 grids were deep and highly competitive. The races at VIR were more of the same. In Race 1 Jake Lewis was in a three bike battle all the way to the finish. Ultimately, he crossed the line as the winner. Race 2 on Sunday continued where Saturday left off. Lewis fell back to third for a few laps and the pair at the front pulled a bit of a gap. As a veteran, Jake was patient. He took a few laps to reel the leaders in and, eventually, claimed the lead. In a hard fought, last lap battle, Jake finished in second just barely off the top step.
“This feels amazing. We had some great battles this weekend. I can’t thank Altus Motorsports enough for giving me this opportunity to come back to the paddock and show what I can do. Last year was depressing being away from racing. I have a hell of a lot of motivation to keep winning. I also want to thank my crew chief, Eric Gray, mechanic Shawn, and Victor for their hard work getting the bike dialed in. And also to Team Hammer for their support,” said Jake Lewis. “We struggled a bit at Round 1, but we made big progress this weekend and I’m looking forward to Road America and the rest of the season.”
In Superbike, Lewis started Race 1 from 10th and finished in 9th as the top Stock 1000 bike. Unfortunately, an issue with the shifter forced a retirement from Race 2 on Sunday.
The team heads to Round 3 at Road America leading in the Stock 1000 Championship.
At Round 1, Jaret Nassaney was still recovering from an injury. He was, admittedly, not at full strength. With three weeks of healing between the rounds, Jaret rolled into Virgina feeling good. He started both Supersport 600 races from 14th. In the Saturday race, he fought his way forward to finish 9th. On Sunday he crossed the line in 10th.
“It was a really positive weekend! We went faster than I ever have at VIR and we made good progress with the bike setup. I ended up with a 9th and a 10th which I’m pretty happy with. Two top tens so it was a good weekend,” said Jaret Nassaney.
At Round 2, Cooper McDonald once again sat in for the recovering Kevin Olmedo. Coming from racing Twins, he is still adapting to the 600. To complicate things, this was also Cooper’s first visit to VIR. After qualifying in 19th, McDonald finished Race 1 in 17th and Race 2 in an impressive 12th.
“I loved this weekend. This track is awesome. It was my first time here so I had to learn the track and get fast on the equipment quickly. The team put me on a great bike. In the first race I ran off the track twice and pulled 17th, but today I pushed hard and finished 12th. Overall I am super happy,” said Cooper McDonald.
Kevin Olmedo plans to remount the Altus Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R600 for Round 3 at Road America.
VIR is another new track for Hayden Bicknese and, as such, he set out to learn the track as quickly as possible. Every time he took to the track he went faster. He qualified 14th for both Junior Cup races. An unfortunate mechanical issue knocked him out of Race 1 on Saturday. In Race 2, Bicknese got into an epic, race-long, four bike battle for 9th place. Every lap saw multiple passes and position changes. Hayden crossed the line in 9th on the penultimate lap but, in the end, he finished in 12th.
“I’d say this was a fantastic weekend for our entire team. We made huge improvements on the 1000. Jake won the Saturday Stock 100 race and took a second on Sunday. Jaret looked great and went faster than he ever has at this track. Cooper continues to improve and we are thankful he could step in for these first two rounds. Hayden is doing great. He’s only been on a road race bike for a couple of years. To step up to the national level and learn completely new tracks and race against the fastest kids in the country is pretty impressive. I can’t wait to see what he can do when we get to tracks he knows,” said team owner George Nassaney.
The Altus Motorsports team is supported by our great family of sponsors: Altus Motorsports, Environmental Service Solutions, Suzuki Motor Corporation, 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-Techs, RS Taichi, Arai, Law Tigers Oklahoma, Lawton Motorsports, and Altus Factory Racing.
More, from a press release issued by N2 Racing:
Blake Davis Scores a Pair of 8’s at VIR
Alton, VA (May 2021) – N2 Racing’s Blake Davis scored two eighth-place finishes at Virginia International Raceway in MotoAmerica Junior Cup. Although the two top-10 finishes scored valuable points toward the championship, they did not show Blake’s true potential or speed.
The weekend started with some struggles with chassis set up in FP1 and QP1 that saw Blake in the 11th and 10th position, respectively. The team, led by crew chief Shiloh Salopek, worked hard overnight to find a solution and by Qualifying 2 on Saturday morning, Blake was going very quickly leading most of the session. At the end of qualifying, Blake was in the seventh spot but was disqualified for being a pound, or 15oz of fuel, underweight. This meant that Blake would qualify with his Qualifying 1 time, which put him 11th on the grid.
Blake got a great start in Race 1, but the starting position hurt his chances for a fight with the lead group. Blake worked his way through the pack with well-timed and patient passes. On lap seven, Blake turned the fastest lap of the race with a time of 136:921, but it wasn’t enough to catch the lead group and Blake had to settle for eighth.
Race 2 once again saw Blake starting from 11th on the grid. Blake quickly sliced through the pack working his way up to seventh on lap seven. Blake fell into a race-long battle with his friend Gus Rodio. The two riders battled back and forth for eight laps with Rodio finishing seventh and Blake finishing eighth
Blake Davis – “Getting disqualified really hurt my spot on the grid and I just couldn’t make it up in the races. Now I’m really just looking forward to the next race at Road America. I really want to thank the team for all the hard work and sponsors like N2, BobbleHeadMoto, and Ohlins USA for the support.”
Shiloh Salopek (Crew Chief) – “The defining moment of the weekend was qualifying 2 when we were disqualified for being underweight. When you are giving up 80cc of displacement to the competition, you must push things to the limit, and we pushed it too far. The YZF-R3 is a fantastic motorcycle and Blake is a great rider. We feel confident that we can put together a package that will allow him to run up front.
About N2 Track Days:
N2 provides a structured riding environment for sport-bike riders of all levels promoting motorcycle safety through instruction on a closed course racetrack. Our instructors and coaching staff are comprised of club-racers, pro racers, and experienced track day riders who are articulate and passionate about all aspects of this sport. N2 strives to provide an enjoyable riding experience in an environment where members can hone their skills and inspire confidence in their riding ability. Riding with N2 means you and your sportbike gain access to a structured environment without the hazards, limitations, distractions, and obstacles that you’ll find on the street.
N2 Racing is proudly sponsored by: N2 Track Days, BobbleHeadMoto, SBS Brakes, Renthal, Motorex, Shoei Helmets, Ohlins USA, Trading Paint, Westby Racing, and Moto Liberty.
More, from a press release issued by Ethan Cook Racing:
First double points finish in MotoAmerica Twins Cup for Ethan Cook
Ethan Cook secured his first double points finish of the 2021 MotoAmerica Twins Cup season, finishing ninth and tenth in the two races at VIR (Virginia International Raceway).
The weekend started well for Ethan, who despite having never ridden at VIR before, qualified strongly on the third row of the grid, ahead of many more experienced riders. His race results elevated Cook, who is in his debut MotoAmerica season, into P12 in the overall points classification ahead of Round 3 at Road America in a fortnight.
Ethan Cook: “Friday’s practice went well; I hadn’t ridden at this track before, so it was just about getting to grips with it. The bike felt way off compared to where it was at Atlanta. We made some big adjustments in Q1 which went well. That continued into Q2 where we set the bike up closer to where it was in Atlanta. We qualified on the third row in P9, I put in some good laps and the times were close, especially in the top three. We were working really hard on making the bike right and found a good setting ahead of race 1. The first race went well, I spent the first half in a big group but was in P9 for most of that. The top eight guys were riding at a slightly quicker pace. At half race distance we lost so much grip and had no rear tyre at all, I had to conserve it for the rest of the race, so the group ahead managed to pull away from me I pulled a gap on the group behind, so I found myself running a lonely race. I came across the line, securing a good result and putting in some good times as well so I’m happy enough with that. Race 2 was good for us; I came across the line in P10 making that two top ten results throughout the weekend. We made a couple of changes to the bike hoping that they would work in our favour, but they went in the wrong direction and gave me a worse feeling with the rear end of the bike. We’ve got a bit of work to do for the next round but I’m really happy with the progress we made this weekend. We started and finished both races so I’m happy with that and I’m looking forward to Wisconsin.”
For more information go to EthanCookRacing.com