SUZUKI’S KELLY AND LEWIS CLINCHED CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES IN NEW JERSEY
Brea, CA – During this weekend’s penultimate round at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Suzuki Motor USA, LLC and Team Hammer saw GSX-R pilots collect three more race wins, five additional podiums, and two national championships in MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing competition.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s emerging superstar, Sean Dylan Kelly, transformed his childhood ambitions into reality by clinching the 2021 MotoAmerica Supersport crown.
‘SDK’ did so in his inimitable fashion, showcasing the trademark daring and racecraft that got him to this point. Despite the temptation to play it safe with a big championship lead in hand, the 19-year-old instead chose to battle it out for victory both days.
On Saturday, he scored his 11th victory of the season by an impossibly tight 0.001 seconds thanks to even more last-lap heroics aboard his GSX-R600. On Sunday, he earned his 15th podium of the year, missing out on a 12th victory by just 0.040 in second position, which was more than enough to claim the Supersport throne.
“This is very emotional,” Kelly said after being handed the ceremonial number one plate. “I’ve been working really hard for this. My family and I put everything on the line and it’s been tough. My parents have given everything they’ve had for me to get to this point. We never stopped fighting.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported me and pushed me since I started racing. This is my first national championship and it’s a dream come true. I fought for this. I had a lot of doubters last year, thinking I wasn’t good enough, but I came back stronger this year and did what I needed to do to win.
“Thank you to M4 ECSTAR Suzuki for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. And thanks to all my guys for sacrificing so much to make sure the bike was always as good as it could be.”
Kelly’s narrow defeat on Sunday was still a massive success for the team, however. Teammate Sam Lochoff emerged victorious in the four-rider showdown.
Lochoff was in spectacular form all weekend long at NJMP. He was on provisional pole on Friday, led laps en route to a fighting third on Saturday, and at last claimed his maiden MotoAmerica Supersport win in thrilling fashion on Sunday.
The South African said, “It’s my first victory in three years. I’ve finished on the podium several times, but I really wanted to get that win. Now that I have, it’s kind of hard to speak.
“It was a great race with Sean and the guys. I fixed what I was struggling with yesterday, and that just made the difference. I’m pretty sure this won’t be the last time I battle with them. I just want to thank M4 ECSTAR Suzuki for everything.”
The win was also Team Hammer’s 125th win in AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National competition.
Lochoff and Kelly weren’t the only Team Hammer-supported riders celebrating wins in New Jersey. Altus Motorsports Suzuki’s Jake Lewis also locked down the Stock 1000 national championship on Saturday with his fifth victory of the year.
And like Kelly, Lewis earned his win with a final-lap pass aboard his Team Hammer-built GSX-R1000R to close out his championship campaign in style.
“I wanted to go out and get the championship from the top step to reward my team and that’s what we did,” Lewis said. “Last year, I was out of the paddock, sitting on the couch, over 200 pounds, and in a tough spot. I thought about quitting racing, but I’ve been traveling the country in a van with my mom and dad since I was four years old, chasing a dream. I worked hard to get back in shape. After I got my butt kicked at the first round, I knew it was time to get going, and we’ve been on the podium pretty much ever since.
“Big thanks to Altus Motorsports for the opportunity and to Team Hammer as well for the amazing technical package.”
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Superbike duo of Cameron Petersen and Bobby Fong combined to claim three top five finishes, although both riders flashed the speed to be on the podium.
Fong finished fourth on Saturday while taking his challenge for third to the flag. He then led briefly in Sunday’s morning race before crashing out of third. The Californian gritted it out later in the day by finishing ninth in the weekend’s third premier-class contest.
Petersen, meanwhile, improved throughout the weekend. He finished seventh on Saturday while fighting for fifth, and then picked up a pair of fifths on Sunday, including one taken after putting forth an extended challenge for third in the final race of the weekend.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Wyatt Farris bounced back from his Pittsburgh disappointment to return to the top ten with a tenth-place ride in the Stock 1000 race. Farris earned a fighting fourth in Sunday’s afternoon Superbike Cup race-within-a-race.
Team Hammer will now put the finishing touches on an already successful 2021 MotoAmerica season next weekend, September 17-19, at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
More, from a press release issued by Altus Motorsports:
MotoAmerica: Jake Lewis Clinches the 2021 Stock 1000 Championship. Results from Round 8 New Jersey Motorsports Park for the Altus Motorsports Tucker Environmental Service Solutions Team
(Millville, NJ) The Altus Motorsports team celebrated their second Stock 1000 title in consecutive seasons. Jake Lewis picked up where Cam Petersen left off last year and rode the Altus Suzuki GSX-R1000R to win the class.
“It’s a great feeling. We couldn’t ask for a better person to take over our Stock 1000 bike this year. Jake has been a good fit with the team in the pits and he’s proven his ability on the track. This weekend we grabbed the Stock 1000 championship and next weekend we hope to secure the Superbike Cup as well,” said George Nassaney.
Honos Superbike & Stock 1000:
Jake Lewis clinched the 2021 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 championship with a win in the solitary race at NJMP this weekend but it was not easy. After being on pole the last few rounds, Jake had to settle for second on the starting grid. In the race, he took the holeshot and led for the first two laps before being relegated to second. After following for the entire race, Jake made a pass for the lead at the beginning of the last lap and held it to the line.
But Lewis is also contesting the Superbike Cup in 2021. With the Superbike class running a triple-header at NJMP, Jake had to grid up three more times on his Stock 1000 GSX-R1000 against the Superbikes. In Race 1, he finished 9th but finished as the top Stock 1000 bike. He was also the top stock bike in the second Superbike race where he crossed the line in 8th overall. In the final Superbike race he took the checkered flag in 12th overall and as the third Superbike Cup rider. All totaled, that puts Lewis 70 points ahead of his nearest rival. With three Superbike races at the final round in Alabama, he’s a few points shy of having that championship wrapped up.
“A huge thanks to George & Janette Nassaney and Altus Motorsports for giving me the opportunity. Last year I was out of the paddock and thought my racing career might be over. I have been chasing this dream since I was four years old and I can’t thank the team enough for taking a chance on me to pick up where they left off last year. Thanks to My Crew Chief Eric Gray and my mechanics, Tony and David. Also to Chris Ulrich and Team Hammer for their technical support. I rode the bike, but this championship is truly a team effort,” said Jake Lewis.
It was another difficult weekend for the two Altus Supersport 600 racers. Both riders were running mid-pack lap times in Practice 1 and felt there was room for improvement. An unfortunate collision put Jaret Nassaney on the ground during Qualifying 1 and caused a massive amount of damage to the bike. The team managed to put the machine back together overnight, but, in Qualifying 2 on Saturday, the bike didn’t feel right and Jaret was unable to drop his times. Kevin Olmedo was also looking to improve on Saturday but ended up having a crash before he could better his lap time. With no improvements to starging positions and both bikes needing work, the team made the decision to skip Parc Ferme, take the DQ and use that time to prepare the motorcycles for the first race.
Kevin Olmedo got an amazing start in the first Supersport race of the weekend. He launched from 9th and was in 4th place by turn one. He finished the race in 6th. Kevin started the Sunday race from 10th and matched his Saturday finish with another 6th.
Jaret Nassaney started the Saturday Supersport race from 14th and fell back a bit off the start. He fought his way up into a battle for 10th. A mistake on lap 14 put him on the ground but Jaret picked the bike up and finished the race in 17th. The Sunday race went a bit better. Again he started form 14th but this time he managed to take 10th place at the finish.
Hayden Bicknese made significant improvements between the first practice session and the final qualifying session. He started both Junior Cup races from 12th. On Saturday he crossed the finish line in 11th. On Sunday, he improved one position and finished in 10th. For the final round of the season, MotoAmerica heads to Barber Motorsports Park. A track that Bicknese has a significant amount of experience on.
“It’s hard to believe next weekend is the final round of the 2021 season. All of our riders enjoy Barber so it should be a good time. I am excited to see what Hayden can do at a track 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 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-Techs, RS Taichi, Arai, Law Tigers Oklahoma, and Altus Factory Racing.
More, from a press release issued by Kyle Wyman Racing:
Wyman fights for top-10 finishes in Jersey for One Cure Ducati
TUCSON, Ariz. — The One Cure Ducati team scored three top-10 finishes this past weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Kyle Wyman battled through adversity to finish 8th-7th-8th in three races over the event.
Wyman was 9th overall on Friday and qualified 9th on Saturday morning, going into Saturday’s race one with a third row starting position. On the opening lap of race one, Wyman was hit by another rider and pushed off the race track, having to run into the grass in turn 7. He rejoined the race in last place (26th), and was able to fight back to finish 8th at the stripe. Wyman passed 18 riders in 20 laps to claim his position and his starting grid spot for race two.
“On the first lap I was running 6th or 7th, and just got blindsided by another rider who had a mechanical and couldn’t stop,” Wyman said. “I fell off the inside of the bike but was able to save it and gather it up before I rode off into the grass. After that I just put my head down and had to force my way up the order. I knew my fishing position in the race would determine my grid spot for Sunday so I was in a hurry to pass as many people as I could, and was able to find myself in 8th after making my final pass on the second-to-last lap. It was a pretty fun race, even though I wish I could have finished that first lap in the front group.”
Starting from 8th on the grid, Sunday morning’s race two would see Wyman struggle in the opening laps with a less than ideal setup change that was a step backward. After some attrition, Wyman was able to bring the One Cure Ducati home in a lonely 7th place.
“After the pace we had in race one, I was eager to give it another go in Sunday’s races,” Wyman added. “We tried some changes for morning warmup that I didn’t feel were enough to find any significant progress, we didn’t go any faster, and there was only an hour before our second race at 11am so we made a couple minor adjustments but it was the wrong direction. I struggled a lot in the beginning and was able to inherit a 7th mid-race.”
The One Cure Ducati team went to work between races two and three, making significant changes to the front end of the motorcycle to make a gamble for the afternoon. Wyman’s third race got off to a much stronger start, where he was able to latch on to the front group and run the first few laps in the top 6. He battled with Hector Barbera and Toni Elias briefly before falling into a race-long duel with Bobby Fong, and eventually besting Fong for 8th overall.
“Our third race was much better than race two and I was able to learn quite a bit from the setup change we made,” Wyman said. “I missed out on some good laps in the beginning just because I had to kind of learn the bike, but overall the pace was better and the overall race time improved. Fong kept me honest for most of the race was he sat on my back wheel, I had +0 on the board each lap with no gap. Fortunately I was able to hold him at bay and put in a solid ride.”
“It has been a trying weekend as we’ve come back from our mid-season injury hiatus, but after some experimenting with our Ducati Panigale V4 R we feel we have some good ideas on how to make our bike perform well at the season ending round at Barber. I look forward to a few days of rest before we go right back to work in Alabama.”
MotoAmerica returns to action for the final round of the championship with another three-race triple header, at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama – September 17-19, 2021.
Visit www.kylewyman.com for more news and updates.
More, from a press release issued by Travis Wyman Racing:
Travis Wyman battles through engine issues to secure top five finishes in Stock 1000, Superbike Cup at MotoAmerica Superbikes at New Jersey
Motul-sponsored BMW rider ready to finish strong at season finale next weekend at Barber Motorsports Park
MILLVILLE, N.J. — The Motul Travis Wyman Racing BMW team realized in the first on-track session of this past weekend’s MotoAmerica Superbikes at New Jersey that it had a technical problem with its motorcycle that couldn’t be fixed at the track, and team owner Travis Wyman still found a way to score top-five finishes in Stock 1000 and Superbike Cup on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Though the issue grew worse as Wyman raced in weekend’s lone Stock 1000 race and three Superbike contests at the Sept. 10-12 event, the Las Vegas resident wrung every ounce of performance he could out of his BMW S 1000 RR – and managed to keep himself in contention for second place in the Stock 1000 Class standings and still in the hunt for the Superbike Cup title.
It was a positive start to the event for Wyman, who was the fourth-fastest rider in Friday’s Stock 1000 practice session. Wyman’s pace improved later that day in Qualifying 1, but not to the same degree as some other riders in the class. He laid down a lap time 0.2 seconds faster than his best practice time but finished the session sixth fastest. Wyman ended up qualifying eighth when Stock 1000 Qualifying 2 concluded Saturday morning.
Saturday also featured the event’s Stock 1000 race and one Superbike race. In the Stock 1000 contest, Wyman got a good start and was running in sixth place by the time the field entered Turn 1. After falling to seventh by the end of Lap 1, Wyman made up two positions before the end of the race and scored his eighth Stock 1000 top-five finish of the season. Later Saturday, Wyman started the day’s Superbike race in 17th place. Thanks to some attrition farther up the running order and a late race move to get by another Superbike Cup rider, Wyman finished the race in 15th place overall and fifth among the Cup riders.
The second Superbike race took place Sunday morning, and Wyman got the most he could out of his ailing motorcycle and finished four positions higher than he started. From 16th on the grid, Wyman dropped as low as 17th in the running order on Laps 2-4 but — with several riders dropping out of the race – Wyman managed to secure a 12th-place finish. In the third and final Superbike race of the weekend, Wyman got off the line well, but the problem of getting good drive off of corners had grown much worse. Starting from 13th on the grid, Wyman struggled to maintain pace and gradually tumbled down the running order. He finished Lap 1 in 14th place, Lap 2 in 15th and Lap 3 in 17th. Wyman would lose another position on Lap 6 but finished the race in 18th.
After racing had concluded, the Motul Travis Wyman Racing BMW team swapped a fresh engine into its BMW S 1000 RR. It will have a couple days at its East Coast shop near Rochester, N.Y. to get the engine broken in and ready to go for the 2021 MotoAmerica season finale, which takes place Sept. 17-19 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
Travis Wyman / No. 10
“This was a frustrating weekend to say the least, but I’m happy we got the best results we could have asked for given the circumstances. I have to thank my team for doing everything within their power to keep our BMW S 1000 RR running as strong as it could for as long as it did. I also have to thank Motul for coming onboard as title sponsor for these final two rounds, and the rest of the team and I are determined to give them a good showing at Barber next weekend. We have a fresh engine that will be ready to go there, and I did really well in qualifying last year at Barber on this same BMW S 1000 RR.”