Team Hammer notched up its 150th AMA Pro/MotoAmerica podium result this weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus during Round 7 of the 2016 MotoAmerica FIM North American Road Racing Championship.
That milestone achievement came courtesy of fleet Frenchman Valentin Debise, who extended his perfect career record of attaining at least one podium per MotoAmerica race weekend with a third-place result in Saturday’s Supersport contest.
The M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki ace started from the front row and battled for a runner-up finish in Friday’srace. Unfortunately, he crashed out while making a pass for second on the race’s final lap.
Debise came back motivated to make amends on Saturday, and again fought hard for second place. However, two separate collisions with backmarkers on the last two laps forced the series rookie to accept third at the checkered flag.
Debise continues to rank third in the ’16 MotoAmerica Supersport title fight with 194 points, including a win and eight podiums.
“The race was quite good but I was not so lucky with lappers today,” Debise admitted. “I tried to make a pass into second because it’s always better to get to the lappers before your opponent, but it didn’t work out. I had some big moments there at the end, but today’s race was better than yesterday’s! After the mistake on Friday, it was so good to get back on the podium. Really, I couldn’t ask for much more than that. I have to say thanks to my crew and Team Hammer for helping me bounce back with a strong race today.”
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen made himself a factor for the podium in both races himself. The South African guided his GSX-R600 Supersport racebike to a pair of fourth-place finishes at Utah Motorsports Campus.
Petersen came up fractionally short of the stealing a podium on Friday following his teammate’s last-lap crash. And on Saturday, he was part of a three-man scrap for second for the bulk of that race until a run-in with a backmarker dropped him out of the podium hunt.
Petersen remains fourth in the Supersport title fight with 165 points, one win, and three podiums.
Superstock 1000 contender Jake Lewis scooped up two more strong finishes aboard the M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Lewis made his way into Superpole 2 by throwing down the second best time during Superpole 1, and backed that up with a seventh-place ride on Friday. The youngster went one better on Saturday, pushing to a sixth-place finish.
Meanwhile, M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Xavier Zayat and M4 LOXY Suzuki’s Caroline Olsen found themselves locked in an intra-team fight for top-ten Superstock 600 honors throughout the weekend. Zayat edged Olsen for 10th in qualifying, however she turned the tables in the first race, taking 10th to Zayat’s 11th. The order reverted again during Saturday’s race, as Zayat took 10th and Olsen 11th.
Team Hammer will join the superstars of the Superbike World Championship when they travel to Laguna Seca in Monterey, California in two weeks time for Round 8 of the 2016 AMA/FIM North American Road Racing on July 8-10.
This year marks Team Hammer’s 36th consecutive season of operating as a professional road racing team. During that time, racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 61 AMA Pro National races, have finished on AMA Pro National podiums 150 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships (the most recent in 2012), as well as two FIM South American championships. The team has also won 133 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and won 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running “Methanol Monster” GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won the F-USA Championship four times.