For the sixth consecutive race day this season, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki placed multiple riders on the podium as the 2020 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing picked right back up this weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania.
And for the sixth consecutive race day, Sean Dylan Kelly was one of the riders to help put the team in that position. Kelly continued his six-race streak of first- or second-place outings in the MotoAmerica Supersport class with yet another runner-up finish on his 599cc M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600.
Kelly, who scored a memorable double victory one year ago at this venue, registered a determined ride at the front over the race’s opening half despite an engine displacement disadvantage of 37cc in what is a 600cc class in every other series running under FIM sanction. ‘SDK’ executed a number of slick moves to slide into the lead before eventually settling into second just after half-distance, which is where he would remain until the checkered flag.
“We showed a good fight today,” Kelly said. “I’ve just got to be happy because I gave my 100%. We are still falling a little short at the end of the races, but we continue to show that we’re right there. We’ll just keep on fighting.
“Thank you to my entire M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team, they’re pushing really hard. I learned a few things during the race. So the good news is we’ve got tomorrow. We’re going to do our homework, get some sleep, and come back stronger tomorrow.”
Kelly’s Supersport stablemate, Lucas Silva, continued his steady season, notching up a third consecutive sixth-place run while keeping his perfect season top-ten streak intact.
Silva rallied after a tough start to climb back to sixth as he continues to show promise.
Meanwhile, Kelly was again joined in the day’s trophy collection by the fast-rising Stock 1000 title contender Alex Dumas. After stringing together finishes of seventh, fourth, third, and second in his first four 1000cc class races, the French Canadian had only a win left in front of him to keep rising up the charts.
And he very nearly pulled it off. Dumas twice slashed his way up through the field aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the once red-flagged and restarted affair, finally taking control of the lead with just over two laps remaining.
Dumas was displaced back to second just as the final lap began and was unable to find another way through before taking the stripe.
“I was pretty fast coming out of Turn 14 and coming onto the back straightaway, but I almost highsided,” Dumas said. “I tried my best on the last lap but there wasn’t anything else I could do.”
“I gave it my best and we’re going to work hard on the bike for tomorrow and look to come back and get that win.”
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki Superbike ace Bobby Fong showed the pace to add to the celebration in the MotoAmerica Superbike race. Unfortunately, the Californian crashed out of the fight for second on lap 9 of 17.
Teammate Toni Elias did manage to put the team in the premier-class top five, taking over fifth position on the race’s final lap aboard his GSX-R1000.
About Team Hammer
The 2020 season marks Team Hammer’s 40th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 88 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 254 times and have won seven AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 137 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.