JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Racing kicked off the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series this weekend in Anaheim with strong starts as Alex Martin put his Suzuki RM-Z250 into the lead with the first holeshot of 2020 and entered the record books with the first lap led into the new year. The team also fielded two racers in the A1 premiere class main event, with Fredrik Noren and Jimmy Decotis transferring directly to the main from their heats.
Martin showed he has what it takes to make 2020 his best season yet. Nabbing the holeshot in the first heat of the 250 class, A-Mart led the first two laps and finished strongly in second place. In the main event, he turned his great gate pick into a top-five start. Unfortunately, on the third lap Martin had a small bobble exiting a 180-degree corner, sending him off the track where he stalled his engine relegating him to the back of the field. With the pack still close together early in the race, Martin displayed speed and momentum, passing nearly a rider a lap, 11 in all, to claw his way back into the top 10 before the checkered flag waved.
“It was very exciting to be back at the races after a productive and healthy offseason,” said Martin. “We made some positive changes throughout the day to be fourth in Qualifying. The heat race went great for me as I scored the holeshot and led a few laps. The main event was going decent after a top-five start, but I made a mistake. Not the end result we wanted, but lots of positives to take away from this weekend.”
Swedish fan-favorite Freddie Noren made his full-time debut on the RM-Z450 and showed great potential. When the gate dropped during the 450SX Main Event, Fast Freddie put his 450 near the front. His Pirelli MX32 was the third tire to cross the holeshot line, proving the JGR-tuned Suzuki’s have the horsepower needed in the competitive field. Noren is looking to build off his strong starts and continue moving up in the point standings throughout the season.
“It was great to be at A1 for the first round of the season,” said Noren. “I came in wanting to learn and grow, and I accomplished that this weekend. In the main, I got together with another rider and went down which was a bummer, but overall was consistent. I felt the most comfortable I ever have at Supercross due to the great bike and training with Buddy Antunez this preseason. I’m very excited for St. Louis next weekend.”
Team Manager Jeremy Albrecht added, "Freddie showed good speed all day and qualified for the main directly from the heat. He should improve each weekend as he gains confidence in his Supercross skill. He has been working really hard with Buddy and the team and it’s nice to see it show on race day."
Jimmy Decotis kicked off the series on his RM-Z450 as part of his select 450 round race schedule. Unfortunately, he got pinched off on the start straight of the main and was buried in the pack early. After reaching the top 15 halfway through, Decotis lost momentum and dropped back again. With more opportunities to improve on his RM-Z450 at select West Coast rounds, “Jimmy D” will also continue to display speed and determination on his RM-Z250 for the East Coast series. Jimmy D is no stranger to Supercross podiums and is looking to get back into a winning rhythm.
“It was an awesome feeling getting back to racing under the lights again at Anaheim 1,” said Decotis. “First race of the year is always exciting. I’m looking forward to round two to make some improvements, learn from the first race, and continue to keep striving to be better. Just glad to be back at the races and look forward to the future.”
Albrecht saw good signs, "Jimmy needed some better starts to help him do what he is capable of. He looked comfortable doing all the big jumps but needed more comfort in the whoops. I believe he will improve next weekend in St. Louis.”
RM-Z450 rider Joey Savatgy was not able to suit up for Anaheim 1 as he continues to recover from a broken heel he suffered during pre-season racing in November. Savatgy will return to action once healed up and ready to compete at full speed.
Both of the team's 450 riders ended the race disappointed with their finishes but proud of their efforts to get through the first round healthy and ready for round two.
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team heads to The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis, Missouri next weekend for round two, with all three racers eager to climb in the 2020 championship point standings.
Images courtesy of Brown Dog Wilson
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.