BREA, CA – April 24, 2023 – Suzuki Motor USA and Team Hammer continued to flash race-winning potential, scoring two top-five finishes as the first points-paying round of the 2023 MotoAmerica Superbike and Supersport championships concluded on Sunday at Road Atlanta.
- Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki
- Tyler Scott again raced for the win before finishing a close fourth on his next-generation GSX-R750.
- Teagg Hobbs mounted an incredible comeback after running off course to finish in sixth.
- Richie Escalante made strides to significantly improve his pace and break into the top five.
- Toni Elias picked up valuable points in his return to active Superbike competition.
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott looked to improve upon his Supersport runner-up finish Saturday. The early going looked promising in both regards, as Scott powered off of pole position with the lead and repeatedly dove with confidence into the corner at the end of the long back straight aboard his next-generation GSX-R750. However, after leading multiple laps, the 17-year-old ace took the checkered flag in fourth, just 0.085 seconds removed from a second podium in as many days.
“I was really happy with how the race was going,” Scott said. “We had a good pace and it felt great to be back at the front. I can tell the bike is improved from last year, and the team worked well all weekend. I felt really comfortable while I had the lead. We had a problem in the last couple of laps that cost me some drive out of the corners, so we ended up a close fourth. We’ll come back stronger, and I am really happy for Barber coming up.
Teagg Hobbs was encouraged by his Saturday sixth and hoped for even more in Sunday’s rematch. However, those aspirations were sunk nearly from the start as he ran off the track at the end of the back straight on the Sunday contest’s opening lap. Undeterred, Hobbs mounted a remarkable come-from-behind ride, working his way back up the field from outside the top ten. That charge ended with one final pass on the last lap to equal his Saturday sixth.
“This weekend has been a dream,” Hobbs said. “Riding for Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki has been amazing, and it’s a dream come true to be racing full-time in MotoAmerica Supersport. I had a great weekend. We started strong, and my crew did a great job all weekend tuning the bike for me. Today’s race didn’t exactly go as planned, so I had to claw my way back. But we showed some good pace this weekend, and if we put it all together, we can be at the front fighting for the podium.” Scott and Hobbs were joined by four other Suzuki GSX-Rs in the top ten of Sunday’s Supersport race, once again showing Suzuki’s hallmark consistency.
Richie Escalante enjoyed a hugely promising outing at Road Atlanta as he made major strides aboard his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R Superbike. Escalante bettered his Saturday sixth with a Sunday fifth, but even the reward of a top-five failed to adequately illustrate his improvement. The second-year Superbike ace cut his best lap by more than a half-second while slashing the gap to the leaders by a mammoth 17 seconds, finishing just 12.345 seconds back of the race winner.
“I’m super happy with the weekend, a P6 and P5,” said Escalante. “This morning, we tried something a little different with the setup, trying to provide more rear grip. In the end, we went back to yesterday’s settings for the race because I knew we could run the whole race consistently. I had a good start, and I stayed with the lead group for a couple of laps. It was difficult to continue the pace because I had an issue with how the rear brake was working. In racing, things like this happen. I dropped into the 1:26 range for a couple of laps but told myself to focus and got back in the ‘25s. I did a 1:25 on the last lap on worn tires. I can’t wait for Barber and am still working hard to get my first Superbike podium.”
In his return to active racing, former MotoAmerica Superbike champion Toni Elias backed up his Saturday seventh with an eighth on Sunday. The battle-proven Spaniard will take the points and focus his efforts on regaining his momentum to fight for victory once again like he’s done so many times.
“Today’s race was similar to yesterday,” Elias said. “The pace was better, but the problems were the same, transfer of weight to the front. We tried to find an improvement for today’s race, but we couldn’t. It wasn’t the comeback I was expecting but we will work hard to finish stronger for the next race.”
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki will return to action when the 2023 MotoAmerica season continues at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama, on May 19-21.