BREA, CA – June 26, 2023 – Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer reeled in a second and third podium result of the weekend to conclude a bountiful MotoAmerica round at Ridge Motorsports Park with Team Hammer’s 350th podium.
- Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki
- Tyler Scott equaled his best result of the season with a strong runner-up.
- Teagg Hobbs earns his second Supersport podium in hard-fought Race 2.
- Richie Escalante matched his career-best Superbike finish with a highly competitive fourth.
- Taylor Knapp suffered a DNF after attempting to soldier on following a crash.
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott made his intentions known from the start of Sunday’s MotoAmerica Supersport rematch. The 17-year-old locked down second position after starting from the center of Row 1 aboard his next-generation Suzuki GSX-R750. Scott then put his head down and stuck closely behind the race’s pacesetter long enough to pull free from the pack. Scott definitively put on a strong ride to second place. It was Scott’s second runner-up of the season and his third podium finish.
Scott said, “We made some changes overnight for this morning’s warm-up. The Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team did a great job dialing the bike this weekend. Yesterday, we had an issue during the race, which was unfortunate, but today our goal was to get a strong start and manage the gap to first and third. In the end, it was a really great race, and I’m happy with the result.”
Teagg Hobbs followed up Saturday’s breakthrough performance to a first-career MotoAmerica Supersport podium by adding a second one on Sunday. While Scott shook free early, Hobbs found himself mired in a multi-rider battle for third. Hobbs eventually broke his competition and earned some breathing space en route to another third-place podium aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R750. Suzuki GSX-R750s once again achieved more top-ten class positions than any other manufacturer on the grid.
“It was a battle right from the start,” Hobbs said. “I had a decent start and tried to be as aggressive as possible. Tyler got away from me. I finished ahead of him on Saturday, so I knew he was going to be on it today. I’ve got to give it up for the whole Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team. I’ve got an amazing motorcycle underneath me, and I’m as happy as can be just to be here racing this bike.”
Richie Escalante enjoyed one of the strongest performances of his Superbike career. Escalante spent the bulk of the contest pressuring the rider in fourth before finally forcing him into a small mistake. He then took control of the position himself. Escalante pushed to the maximum aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R with a maiden podium ride in his sights. While he came up just short, Escalante ultimately earned his third fourth-place result in his last five outings, finishing less than five seconds back of the win. The race is the closest Escalante has been to the winner at the checkered flag.
“What an amazing weekend,” Escalante said, “We made a change to the geometry of the bike this morning to find a little bit more grip. We got a strong start and had a good rhythm. I saw how close we were to a podium result, so I pushed hard and did my best. I’m super happy and really proud of my Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki crew. We need to keep working, but overall, it was a particularly good weekend.”
Unfortunately, Taylor Knapp’s one-round ride aboard a Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R Superbike ended on a tough note. Knapp crashed while fighting for 12th position, and while he remounted in an attempt to continue racing, he was ultimately forced to retire.
“We improved the lap time and dropped a second and a half, but I had an unfortunate crash in Turn 1. I am bummed about that,” said Knapp. “I was hoping to do better for the team and give them a good result. The bike was incredible to ride and the team was great all weekend. Hopefully, the team will benefit from me riding the bike and my feedback. Thanks to Suzuki and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki for giving me the chance.”
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki will now travel to Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, for the next round of the 2023 MotoAmerica season on July 7-9.