Bobby Fong stormed to Team Hammer’s first victory of the 2019 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season with an emphatic win in Sunday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race.
Starting from pole and eager for redemption, Fong proved unstoppable in the rematch. The 28-year-old Californian and his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 were obviously the class of the field, leaping into the lead and building an immediate advantage.
A minor miscue brought back bad memories from Saturday’s race and saw Fong run off the track and momentarily drop to second. However, Fong regained both his pace and his composure and quickly reasserted himself at the front where he would stay until the checkered flag.
Fong ultimately took the win with a 2.373-second margin of victory. The triumph also handed him an early 14-point advantage in the MotoAmerica Supersport championship standings.
After the race, Fong said, “Honestly, my M4 ECSTAR Suzuki was by far the best bike out there, and we rode great. I can’t give it up to my team enough. We deserved this win, and my guys deserved this win. I can’t wait to do it again in Virginia in a few weeks’ time.”
Fong could have easily been joined by his young teammate, Sean Dylan Kelly, on the podium once again if not for a racing incident beyond Kelly’s control.
The 16-year-old established himself at the front of a five-rider battle for third, but was pushed wide and off-track as a result of a rival rider’s overzealous overtaking attempt.
Kelly survived his sideways ride through the gravel and returned to the fray several positions back. He was also forced to make one final evasive maneuver in the race’s final corner when another rider crashed in that same corner and came to a stop on the racing line.
Kelly successfully avoided the fallen rider and gained one additional position in the process, finishing the race in sixth position.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis had a less dramatic ride in Sunday’s Superbike contest. Lewis opened the race from the outside of Row 2 after qualifying sixth.
He then proceeded to register a strong and steady ride aboard his Superbike-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 to finish in that exact same position at the conclusion of the 21-lap race.
Meanwhile, Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki’s Alex Dumas narrowly fended off Autovest Suzuki’s Joseph Blasius as the Team Hammer Twins Cup entrants finished Sunday’s Race 2 in sixth and seventh, respectively, aboard their Suzuki SV650s.
Premier-class pilot Lewis will be back in action next weekend as the MotoAmerica Superbike field joins the superstars of the MotoGP World Championship at the Circuit of the Americas, in Austin, Texas, from April 12-14.
The remainder of Team Hammer will rejoin Lewis when the full MotoAmerica tour heads to Virginia International Raceway on May 4-5.
About Team Hammer
The 2019 season marks Team Hammer’s 39th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 71 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA and MotoAmerica National podiums 208 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 135 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 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 four F-USA Championships.