This just in from Suzuki
Chino, CA (Sept. 18, 2017) – Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Roger Hayden and Toni Elias wrapped up the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, with yet another successful weekend. Hayden scored victory in Saturday’s Race 1, earning him his third win of the season. Elias took second in Sunday’s wet Race 2 to cap off his remarkable championship-winning season.
Hayden’s victory gave the 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 a stunning debut season. The newly-designed motorcycle simply dominated the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship winning 13 of the 20 rounds and finishing first and second in the championship.
Elias’ title, clinched at the previous round in New Jersey, also marked a record 14th MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike Championship for Suzuki.
The Barber weekend kicked off with Hayden speeding his way to a series-leading seventh Superpole. He then went out in Saturday’s race and led flag to flag to score his third win of the season and seventh MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike victory of his career.
“I really like racing here at Barber and my crew gave me a great motorcycle,” Hayden said. “It felt good to come out and win a race like that, leading every lap. It was a great way to close out the year and makes me really look forward to next season.”
In Sunday’s wet race, Hayden, who had already clinched second in the championship, elected not to race, citing the potential hazards of slippery seal coating in certain sections of the circuit.
Elias also had a strong final weekend. After a rare error in Saturday’s race, which saw him crash unhurt, he turned around and ran a solid come-from-behind race to finish second in the rain on Sunday.
“The conditions were challenging and I rode cautious at first,” Elias said. “But my team made some perfect adjustments to the bike for the wet and I gained confidence as the race continued and that allowed me to finish strong.
“This year was a dream season for me and I again want to thank Suzuki for giving us such a great weapon in the GSX-R1000 and everyone on the Yoshimura team who helped make it possible.”
Elias ended his championship campaign with 10 wins. Interestingly, in just two seasons of MotoAmerica Elias is already tied with his childhood hero Wayne Rainey for eighth on the all-time MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike wins list, with 16-career victories.