Team Hammer extended its podium streak at Round 6 of the 2016 MotoAmerica FIM North American Road Racing Championship at Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama.
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Valentin Debise registered a brave and gritty effort on Saturday to notch up his seventh Supersport podium of the season. The Frenchman has now assembled a remarkable run in which he has stood on the podium in every weekend of his developing MotoAmerica career.
Debise managed this despite suffering a huge crash during qualifying just hours before the race, which limited his strength during a contest held in blisteringly hot conditions. Area lightning forced the race to be halted and called complete a few laps early, earning Debise a third-place result.
Debise narrowly missed scoring a second third on Sunday. After running in fifth aboard his M4 SportbikeTrackGear.comSuzuki GSX-R600 for the bulk of the race, the emerging ace went to work on the final lap and came up just 0.014 seconds short of the podium with a fourth-place finish at the checkered flag.
M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki teammate Cameron Petersen enjoyed a strong weekend himself, twice battling for the podium. On Saturday, the South African crashed while contending for third but remounted and charged his way back up to ninth when the race was ended early.
He worked his way into another podium dogfight in the second race. Petersen controlled third for much of the race before finishing in fifth, less than three tenths removed from the podium.
Debise now sits third in the ’16 MotoAmerica title fight with 168 points, one win, and seven podiums. Petersen is fourth with 139 points, one win, and three podiums.
“I got a good start on Saturday, but I knew it was going to be difficult to fight for the win,” Debise admitted. “The crash in the morning robbed me of all my strength and I wasn’t able to ride the way I wanted to. I have to thank the team for giving me such a great bike, which allowed me to get third. I did all I could and finishing on the podium was a great result for me in that race. I couldn’t ask for any more than that.”
Superstock 1000 contender Jake Lewis continued to adapt to the M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Lewis threw down the fastest time in Superpole 1 and ultimately notched up the sixth fastest lap among STK 1000 competitors in Superpole 2.
Lewis backed that up with a pair of top 10s results, finishing 10th and seventh in the respective Superstock 1000 races.
Meanwhile, youngster Xavier Zayat scooped up a pair of top 10s in Superstock 600. He piloted his M4 SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki GSX-R1000 to eighth and 10th. M4 LOXY Suzuki’s Caroline Olsen twice finished directly behind Zayat, coming home in ninth and 11th.
Team Hammer will next travel to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, for Round 7 of the 2016 AMA/FIM North American Road Racing on June 23-25.
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 149 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.