In what has proved to be a challenging year for the sport, the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Racing team wrapped up the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series in Salt Lake City, Utah with season-bests and continued steady progress. Broc Tickle carded a respectable sixth-place aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 while teammate Fredrik Noren also earned his season-best finish. Alex Martin had a great run on his Suzuki RM-Z250, finishing sixth in the 250 West championship points standings.
The day started great for Tickle, who grabbed the holeshot in heat one on his JGR-tuned Suzuki and earned a direct transfer into the main event. He continued that momentum with another strong start in the main and battled into a top-five position showing marked improvement with his healing hand injury. A sixth-place finish allowed Tickle, with fewer than half of the season's races contested, to finish the series in the top-20 in the final points standings.
"Today was a huge step in the right direction for me," said Tickle. "I started the day off better in practice and improved throughout practice qualifying. In the heat, I grabbed my first holeshot in a long time. I started sixth in the main and managed to stay strong and steady. This was huge for me and the JGR squad. Thank you to everyone who has made the Salt Lake City racing possible and for the support in getting me back to where I belong."
"I’m really happy with how Broc rode all day," said Jeremy Albrecht, Team Manager. "He was better in qualifying, starts, and results. The sixth-place finish in the main was a really great ride, and even more impressive considering the injury he had to ride through."\
“Fast Freddie” Noren also capped the season with his best 2020 finish. The difficult track conditions didn't prevent the Swedish rider from earning a smooth transfer into the main through the LCQ. Making the best of a poor starting position, Noren managed to nab his best finish of the year.
"My speed is getting better and my ankle is improving, which is good,” said Noren. "I’m happy to finish the last round safe. It will be great to now be able to work on my endurance and speed going into the outdoors."
Martin was pushing to recover from a tailbone injury suffered at round 15, but unfortunately, a heat race pile-up prevented him from finishing the season in the top-five position he had held in the points standings. “A-Mart” was forced to ride the LCQ, where he transferred easily, but was relegated to a late gate pick. Although he didn’t finish where expected, Martin managed to end the season with a solid sixth-place in the overall points standings.
"Racing the last round of Salt Lake City was touch and go for me all week," said Martin. "I was managing an injury fairly well but made a mistake in the re-start of the main and lost a lot of ground trying to recover. It was a frustrating way to end the series, but I’m very motivated to get myself and the team up front where we belong in the upcoming outdoor series."
"Alex had some tough luck in the heat getting stuck in a pile-up and forcing him to go to the LCQ," added Albrecht. "He rode well and was looking forward to the main event. A bad gate pick was not ideal for this style of start. He stayed out and fought for every position to finish the series the best he could. Overall, Alex finished sixth in the points and is focused on doing better outdoors."
The final seven rounds, held twice-weekly in Rice-Eccles Stadium, ended an extraordinarily unconventional Supercross season. The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Racing team was up to the challenge and battled hard through the final push. The team now prepares for its assault on the AMA Outdoor Motocross series, with the first two rounds announced: Ironman Raceway on July 18th in Crawfordsville, Indiana, and the WW Ranch Motocross Park on July 25th in Jacksonville, Florida.
Photos Courtesy of Feld Entertainment, Inc.)
About Suzuki: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors and Automotive Parts and Accessories via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.
About JGRMX: Joe Gibbs Racing Motocross (JGRMX), based in Huntersville, NC, was founded in 2007 by Coy Gibbs, son of NFL Hall of Fame head coach and multi-time NASCAR Championship winning team owner Joe Gibbs. JGRMX competes in both the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series as well as the Monster Energy Supercross series with support from Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. aboard Suzuki RM-Z250 and RM-Z450 race machines.
About Yoshimura R&D of America: Yoshimura is “The Leader in Performance” and has been for 65 years. With unmatched skills, knowledge, and passion for racing, Yoshimura is on the forefront of the aftermarket. Yoshimura exhaust systems are race bred and feature the same legendary performance, fit, and quality that has been their trademark for six decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.