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  News
YOSHIMURA-BACKED TEAMS DOMINATE IN THE DIRT ON TWO AND FOUR WHEELS!
Robert Boop

Yoshimura-backed teams showed their dominance in the dirt on both two wheels and four at the final round of the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Pala, CA and at round 10 of the 2011 Grand National Cross Country Series at the Unadilla ATV GNCC in New Berlin, NY on Saturday. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Rockstar Energy Suzuki and Honda Racing teams showed their dominance and the performance advantage of their Yoshimura products while taking on the competition at Pala and Unadilla.

Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki finished off the motocross season strong at Pala. 2010 AMA Pro Motocross Champion Ryan Dungey and teammate Brett Metcalfe powered their Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450s to a first- and fourth-place finish overall, respectively.

In the first moto, Dungey got pushed out a bit on the start and had to work his way up from 10th at the first lap. He quickly worked his Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 up to third by lap six and pushed hard until the end, passing for second on the 13th lap, and ended up crossing the line in second. After another tough start in moto two, Dungey again worked his way up to third by the halfway point. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider put his head down and used the awesome power of his RM-Z to chase down the leader and make the pass in the closing stages to take the checkers for the moto win and the overall win for the day. The 2010 AMA Pro Motocross Champion finished off the season a close second to the top in championship points, amassing a total of six moto wins, 16 podiums and four overall wins.

 “It was a good day here at Pala,” said Dungey. “I was able to go two-one for the overall win today on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 and that was good. I had a tough start in the first moto and finished second, but we were able to battle back and manage to get through the pack in the second to take the win and get the first overall. It was a tough battle – It was really cool that the championship came down to this last race. Although we didn’t win, we did a great job getting through the season despite all the adversity we had to overcome. I’m really happy with the way my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team stepped up. It’s nice to be able to walk away knowing we did everything we could. It was a lot of fun and there are a lot of great memories. I want to thank the man above, my whole team and crew, my family, all the fans, and everybody in Japan that makes this happen. I’m really looking forward to Motocross Des Nations next week. It’s great to go there and represent your country. It’s really something special.”

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Metcalfe also put on an impressive performance aboard his Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z450 this weekend. After a solid start in the first moto, Metcalfe ran as high as third and consistently in fourth before a stall on the last lap dropped him back for a fifth-place finish. Another strong start in moto two put Metcalfe and his Suzuki RM-Z into the front pack. He rode a strong and consistent race once again for another fifth-place moto finish and a fourth overall for the day. Metcalfe finished off the year a solid fourth in championship points and scored an overall win, as well as two podiums and three top five finishes.

“Pala worked out pretty good for me,” said Metcalfe. “I was able to pull off a fourth overall and I’m pretty happy with that. I was really looking forward to Pala because it’s kind of my home race and I had a lot of friends and family here. I started out pretty strong in practice and I was really comfortable out there, which is the important thing. My Suzuki was working really well and I got into a good rhythm. I got two really good starts today and my Suzuki RM-Z450 was really fast getting down to the first corner. I rode well but could only manage two fifths for the day; in the first moto, I should have been fourth, but I stalled it on the last lap. It was a good day and now I’m looking forward to Des Nations. I want to thank my whole Rockstar Makita team, Yoshimura, and all my sponsors. They’ve all been very supportive the entire year. I also want to thank Suzuki for giving us such a great bike in the RM-Z and the support we need to race at this top level.”

Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki capped off the season with another solid top-10 finish in the 250 class at Pala on Saturday. Jason Anderson scored an eighth-place overall at the Pala National in Pala, CA, while Rockstar Energy Suzuki teammates Nick Paluzzi, Martin Davalos and Ryan Morais finished 13th, 14th and 17th, respectively, on their Yoshimura-equipped Rockstar Energy Suzuki RM-Z250s.

Anderson was strong all day, starting with the eighth fastest time in the morning practices. The Rockstar Energy Suzuki rider had two consistent motos aboard his Suzuki RM-Z250, with decent starts in both, and finished eighth in the first moto and ninth in the second. The combined results were good enough to award Anderson with an eight-place overall result. Anderson still managed to finish 16th in championship points despite missing four races mid-season.

"This weekend was a solid overall weekend for me,” said Anderson. “Especially for how my season has been going, it's a step in the right direction and I know I can keep this upwards momentum going into next season and be up there even further. My Suzuki RM-Z250 has been great and my team has been very supportive throughout the entire season. I want to thank everyone including my Rockstar Energy Suzuki team, my sponsors and Suzuki for all their support.”

Justin Barcia completed his fill-in ride with the factory Honda team at Pala MX by putting in two impressive rides on the factory Yoshimura-equipped Honda CRF450R at the Motocross grand finale. Barcia was a strong contender for the moto one win, running up front for the majority of the race before finishing in third. In the second moto, Barcia got a great start and took over the lead from Chad Reed on lap seven. Maintaining incredible speed out front, he led the next eight laps before surrendering a spot with two laps to go. Barcia’s stellar 3-2 results earned him third overall for the round.

“I’m really happy with my results this weekend,” said Barcia. “I have learned so much about myself as a racer and about riding, which I know has made me a much smarter rider. It’s been awesome working with the factory Honda team, and I can’t thank GEICO Honda enough for allowing me to take advantage of this amazing opportunity.”

In the Women’s class, Yoshimura-equipped Honda CRF250R rider Ashley Fiolek wrapped up her third WMX title. After winning back-to-back Women’s titles in 2008 and 2009, and finishing runner-up in the WMX series in 2010, Fiolek headed into the 2011 Motocross season determined to reclaim the crown. From the get-go, Fiolek demonstrated incredible speed on her CRF250R, winning five motos in the eight-round series and clinching three overall victories en route to the championship crown.

“I am so happy to win back the Women’s title,” said Fiolek. “It was tough giving it up last year, so I was determined to do everything I needed to do to win it back this season. All the women racers rode exceptionally well, and we had some great battles. I knew consistency was going to be the key to winning the championship back, and that’s what I was all season; consistently on the podium each week. I’m really happy to put Honda on top again for another year.”

On the ATV side, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Chris Borich used a bold, last-second pass aboard his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki QuadRacer R450 to take a thrilling win at this year’s Unadilla ATV GNCC. Borich now leads the XC1 points chase by 36 points.

Saturday’s race saw reigning ATV XC1 Champion Borich getting off to a mid-pack start. Borich moved into contention for the lead at the halfway mark of the race, trading the lead with three other riders for the next several laps. On the final lap, Borich found himself in third place but soon passed for second. With less than a half mile to go in the race, Borich put the power down on his Suzuki QuadRacer R450 and made a daring pass, jumping one of Unadilla’s huge motocross jumps to take the lead. At the finish, Borich took the checkers with just about two seconds to spare over second place. This marks Borich’s fifth win of the season.

“It was a good battle,” explained Borich. “Me, Wolf, Bithell and McGill were just like a train, battling back and forth for awhile. Bithell checked up and I knew I had to make a move, so I thought, okay, this is it, and I just hit it hammer-down. It was good to come away with a few more points. It was a good race; we were rolling good and it was a fun race.”

“My Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki QuadRacer R450 ran awesome today,” added Borich. “It had plenty of power to get me up those nasty hills and it did what I needed it to do. The bike handled awesome and I can’t thank the Suzuki guys enough. I’m looking forward to the next round. I like Somerset. It’s a track that’s always been good to me. There are a lot of rocks where I live and that’s what they have at Somerset, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Next, the ATV GNCC series moves to Somerset, PA for the Mountain Ridge GNCC on September 24th.


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Composed: 09/19/2011 | Modified: 09/19/2011
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