BREA, CA, August 21, 2023 — Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer returned to the top step on the podium with a triumphant Sunday to conclude the MotoAmerica weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania.
- Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki
- Tyler Scott was dominant in earning his second victory of the season.
- Teagg Hobbs battled his way to an impressive fourth-place result.
- Richie Escalante twice fought for the podium on his way to his tenth top-five result of the season in Superbike race three.
- Brandon Paasch’s recovery progress continues ahead of schedule as he continues to adapt to the Superbike class.
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider Tyler Scott was determined to not only extend his five-race consecutive podium streak, but do so with another victory. Scott once again blasted his way into the mix despite his outside Row 2 starting position and was engaged in an intense dogfight for the lead. Following a thrilling sequence of laps featuring multiple passes and three-wide braking contests, Scott finally opened a bit of breathing space at the front. Once clear, he upped the pace even further with several blistering laps aboard his next-generation Suzuki GSX-R750 and ultimately commanded a margin of victory of nearly three seconds. The win was his second in the season’s most recent three races and Scott’s sixth consecutive podium result. Scott’s weekend results were a strong first and third in Supersport.
“The race today was definitely a lot harder than yesterday,” Scott said. “I knew it was going to be hard to pass, so when I saw the opportunity to lead, I took it. Pushing the pace out front is a lot more stressful on your riding, but I just kept pushing and I saw my pit board go up two-tenths, four-tenths, six-tenths. I couldn’t have done it without the whole Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team preparing a beautiful bike this weekend. We made some improvements this morning which really paid off.”
Teagg Hobbs was in outstanding form as well, despite once again getting pushed back in the opening corner chaos. Hobbs ran as a part of an early six-rider train at the front in the early laps aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R750 before settling into a duel for fourth. The class rookie went to school on one of the most decorated and experienced riders in the paddock and ultimately worked his way by to secure fourth place at the finish.
Hobbs said, “I was looking forward to this weekend and not just because I really like this track and it’s close to my home; I made a few mistakes in Race 2 at Brainerd, and I wanted to show my team I would come back from those and that’s the type of rider I am. I’m happy. The goal is always top five. We started low, but qualified second and then took a couple of top fives, so I can’t complain. I want to say a huge thanks to the whole Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team.”
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante rode the roller coaster on Sunday, but ultimately walked away with his head held high after matching his career-best premier-class finish of fourth. The second-year Superbike ace was back to his top-five standard following a disappointing Saturday and Escalante was motivated to take advantage of his Sunday speed on the Suzuki GSX-R1000R. Unfortunately, he crashed on the last lap of the day’s first Superbike contest while gunning for his maiden podium position.
Escalante looked to make amends in the afternoon race, and showed plenty of fight in the effort. Escalante passed his way up to third in the waning stages of the race, but was soon after displaced to fourth and then fifth in the spectacular shootout. Undaunted, Escalante managed to counter with a bold, final-lap overtake to claim fourth ahead of the checkered flag.
“Both races were very tough, and I am happy with how competitive we were,” Escalante said. “It looks like I was sliding around everywhere when you look at it on TV, but I was confident. The team gave me a great bike, and it feels 70 or 80% better than when we started on Friday. In Race 2, I was trying for the podium and knew I needed to take advantage of the opportunities to pass that came up, so I took a risk, and it didn’t pay off. In Race 3, I just gave it all I had every lap. I wanted the podium and was putting up a good fight. Then I was passed for fourth on the last lap, but I thought, ‘Not today,’ and got the position back. My confidence is exceedingly high, and I am looking forward to Austin. It is close to Mexico, and I know there will be a lot of support from the fans.”
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Brandon Paasch continued to come to grips with the squad’s GSX-R1000R Superbike, twice running in contention for sixth after finishing ninth on Saturday. In Sunday’s first contest, Paasch achieved that precise result to improve his top-ten streak to seven races. Unfortunately, the run of results ended in the afternoon, when the New Jersey native suffered a DNF after controlling sixth place just two laps from the end.
Paasch said, “It was another good weekend for us. I am learning a lot, and I think we might be a little ahead of schedule as far as how things are going. We made some real headway in Race 2. We stayed with the lead group for a while. As the tire went off, I lost some ground, but we still were able to get sixth place. I had a lot of confidence going into Race 3. I made a move for position and ended up running into the grass, but I was able to run pretty well after that. It looked like another solid result before we had a problem at the end. I had a lot of seat time again and we are closer to the leaders, so I feel confident going into the next round.”
Team Hammer will next travel to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, for the penultimate round of the 2023 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season on September 8-10.