In a first for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series, two events were held just three days apart and the JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Racing riders took away four top ten overall finishes at the Red Bud MX double-header. In the 250cc class Alex Martin and his Suzuki RM-Z250 placed inside the top ten in every moto and pulled down a top five overall finish on Friday. In 450cc racing Joey Savatgy put his Suzuki RM-Z450 in the top ten overall in both Friday's and Monday's racing and just like teammate Fredrik Noren, posted strong starts and good speed to advance in the overall points standings.
RED BUD I - Friday
After putting together the fifth quickest in timed qualifying, Alex Martin started moto one in approximately tenth place and from there threaded his way through a tight lead pack that kept within a few seconds of a podium position. In the second moto, A-Mart got his JGR-tuned Suzuki up into the top three on the opening laps and kept the leader within a few seconds for the bulk of the race. He unfortunately lost one spot late in the race and finished fourth in spite of being one of the few riders to launch the track's famous 120-foot triple jump, LaRocco's Leap.
"We had a decent day. My starts and speed were plenty good for a podium but I just didn’t ride well in the first moto," Martin summed up his race. "In the second moto I waited too long to jump the leap. I really love this track."
Joey Savatgy made the best of a mediocre start and by the end of moto one he'd put his JGR-tuned Suzuki inside the top ten. A poor start in moto two stacked the odds against him, but "Versace" put his RM-Z450's power into the Michigan soil and finished the day with a top ten overall finish.
"Today for me was a big struggle." Savatgy said afterward, "I didn’t get great starts and I just had a hard time getting comfortable out there."
Fredrik Noren jumped out with a top-three start in the first moto, right on the rear wheel Suzuki-mounted Max Anstie, but an issue on lap six ended Noren's moto early. "Fast Freddie" was ready when moto two dropped the gate and used consistent fast laps to hold a top ten position for the entire moto.
"It's so much fun being back racing at Red Bud." Noren said. "The track got rough and challenging but I had a lot of fun racing. A freak issue happened in the first moto while I was running fifth, but my start was good and my riding felt great. Having 39th gate pick in the second moto, I did my best to get off the gate good. I think I was somewhere around 12th after lap one. My riding and starts were good."
"It was a decent day." Jeremy Albrecht, the Team Manager added, "Alex rode well and had speed to be on the podium. Noren rode good and Joey had consistent finishes but is still just needing to be a little more comfortable. The track was great and high-speed so we learned some things and feel Monday will be better,"
RED BUD II – Monday
Alex Martin's moto one start put him just outside of the top ten, but he quickly fought into and finished in a single-digit position. Moto two proved more challenging, but A-Mart pushed into the lead group and finished the day's racing inside the top ten, allowing him to maintain a top five position in the points.
"The second Red Bud was a tough one for me. Starts were really important as everyone was really close in speed," Alex Martin observed. "My starts were subpar, and some mistakes and a crash didn’t help the cause. I'm going to regroup and come out swinging at the hometown race."
Savatgy started the day by laying down the fastest lap time in the first qualifying session, which turned out to be the second fastest qualifying lap time overall. In moto one, Savatgy battled inside the top ten throughout the 30-minutes plug two lap race. In the second moto, "Versace" was second at the holeshot stripe; he held firmly in third position until a tip over ten minutes into the race set him back to seventh. Savatgy's moto results netted him seventh place overall for the day and the weekend's efforts climbed Savatgy up two positions in the season points standings.
"For Red Bud 2 we made some changes to the bike and overall it got better," Savatgy told after the racing. "My starts were good and I rode well, I just had a little issue in the first moto and a small crash in the second moto while running third. My speed is getting better and I'm excited to have a week off to work on some things to get ready for Millville."
"Fast Freddie" Noren kicked off the racing with a top ten start right on the rear wheel of Suzuki teammate Joey Savatgy. Noren put in strong rides for both motos, ultimately leaving the Michigan track one position higher in the season points standings.
“It was not at very good Red Bud 2 for me." Noren explained, "My riding was pretty good but I struggled to make passes and also fell in both motos. I know what I need to work on so it will be good with a weekend off to regroup and come back strong for Millville.”
"Alex rode hard but did not get the finishes he needed. The highlight was that he did the leap at the end of moto one when not many 250s could make it. Alex is still in the fight so we will keep working to come back strong at his parents' track in Millville," Albrecht said after the long weekend had wrapped. "Joey had better speed and a great start in moto two. It was good to see Joey running third for a while until going down. Freddie was riding good in both motos but had some mistakes. He went down battling for a top 10 in moto one and in moto two he made a mistake while running ninth."
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series takes next weekend off, then the riders are back to a Saturday schedule re-starting on September 19th at Spring Creek MX Park in Millville, Minnesota. The JGR Suzuki team will be charged up and ready to bring in more strong results for the Suzuki brand and climb further up the rankings in 2020 motocross racing.
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.