DEBISE BACK ON TARGET AT ROAD AMERICA
Published: July 04, 2017
Team Hammer backed up a race-winning Saturday at Road America with another podium performance on Sunday to conclude Round 4 of the 2017 MotoAmerica season in a positive fashion.
While Jake Lewis was the Saturday star on the team's Superstock-spec 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000, Sunday was the middleweight riders' moment to shine.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Valentin Debise put his season back in order with a strong and consistent ride to secure his fourth top-three of the year and halted an uncharacteristic run of misfortune.
The Frenchman got away with the Supersport leaders off the line and pulled free of any potential pursuers chasing from behind. He settled in from there to register a convincing, albeit lonely, ride to third.
Debise was relieved to get back up closer to where he and his GSX-R600 belong. He said, "This is a big improvement following two DNFs and a 14th. Third is not what I want to be, but it's a big step back in the right direction.
"It was very important for me to finish that race. I felt I could stay with the front two but only by taking too many risks with my bike. I figured it was better to slow down, finish the race, and get the podium. We'll step things back up next race and look to fight for more wins."
Debise's M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Brandon Cleland also enjoyed an uptick in form. The Texan piloted his GSX-R600 to a sixth-place result in the STK600 category (13th overall) around the high-speed Road America venue.
M4 Rickdiculous Racing Suzuki's Daytona Anderson impressed on Sunday as well. Despite riding unfamiliar equipment on an unfamiliar circuit, the up-and-coming rider battled his way to ninth-place on the overall Supersport/STK600 order, finishing as the 6th best rider on Supersport-spec equipment.
While Team Hammer's 600cc squad rebounded nicely from a tumultuous Saturday, Sunday was Lewis' turn to encounter turbulence.
The Kentucky native got away strongly off the line, slotting his Superstock 1000 into second overall entering the first corner of the Superbike/STK1000 contest. Still running in fourth mid-way through the opening lap, Lewis suffered a high side crash in an incident that saw the top three Superstock 1000 contenders crash.
A red flag was shown, resulting in a complete restart. Lewis managed to remount and reenter the fray from the back of the field. He recovered well enough to secure fifth in class (11th overall) before a second red flag brought the race to an early end.
Despite the Sunday drama, Lewis sits just eight points back of the Superstock 1000 championship lead.
Team Hammer will next head to Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah, on June 23-25 for Round 5 of the 2017 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.
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