BREA, CA – January 28, 2019 – The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team traveled to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California, for round four of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross series. Packed with soft soil and back-to-back whoop sections, two-time 450 Supercross Champion Chad Reed rode his Suzuki RM-Z450 to a ninth-place finish in front of 47,024 fans. Teammate Justin Hill overcame a qualifying crash to earn valuable points in the 450 class main event. In the 250 ranks, Jimmy Decotis soared to his first 250 West heat race victory of the season but was later slowed down by a crash in the main and was held to 15th place. Rookie teammate Enzo Lopes nearly had the holeshot in his heat race, but collided with another rider and fell. Lopes and his RM-Z250 returned for the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) and was pushed into a barrier, resulting in a crash that ended his night.
Chad Reed rode with high intensity in Oakland, logging the seventh-fastest lap time in the main event. While inching his way to the front, a crashed rider caused Reed to fall. He remounted and clawed his way back to ninth. Reed’s perseverance moved him up to 11th in the 450 points standings.
Justin Hill (#46) rode through a painful shoulder injury to grab 14th place in the 450 main.
Justin Hill briefly put the #46 Suzuki RM-Z450 at the top of the leader board in the qualifying session but later suffered a crash, injuring his shoulder. Hill fought through pain the remainder of the day and salvaged a 14th place finish. He will undergo evaluation early this week to determine the severity of the shoulder injury. Hill is 14th in the points standings.
Jimmy Decotis was flying in practice, scoring the third-quickest qualifying time in the 250 West. He sliced through the pack in his heat race to capture the lead with just over two laps to go. After a mid-pack start in the main, Decotis went down in the whoops and remounted. He methodically worked his way up to 15th by the conclusion of the 250 West main. Decotis is 10th in the points standings.
Flying low and fast, Jimmy Decotis (#64) grabbed a victory in his heat race. In the main, “The Rippa” crashed in the whoops but recovered to secure 15th place.
Enzo Lopes shot out to a second place start in his heat race, only for the rider in front of him to veer wide and roll a double. Lopes committed to jumping the double and landed on the back of the other rider. Lopes returned for the LCQ, but was pushed wide in the first corner and crashed. As a result, the 19-year-old did not qualify for the main event. Lopes sits 17th in the points standings.
Enzo Lopes (#67) had excellent starts in his heat race and the LCQ but was unable to avoid crashes caused by other riders.
Chad Reed [450 Class, 9th Place] – “I really liked the Oakland track layout. There were nice whoops and ruts. Unfortunately, I again struggled with one-lap speed, but I felt like I would be okay for the heat race and main event. I had a decent start in the heat race and finished fourth. I was really enjoying the main event and began to find a rhythm. I was going to try and make some moves forward. Then I landed on Plessinger’s bike when he crashed in a blind spot. I fought back to ninth. I’m entering a new week with confidence. I have the pieces, but I need to start out the day better and carry that into the night show. We’re heading to one of my favorite races of the series this weekend. San Diego has always been a solid hunting ground for me.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 14th Place] – “I had a huge endo over a berm in the second qualifying practice. My injuries are yet to be determined. Needless to say, I could barely ride throughout the night program. My left shoulder was getting considerably worse as the racing continued. On the bright side, we had excellent gains with the bike setup before the big crash. I have a fantastic team of people to help me rehab this week and make sure I am structurally okay to get back to work!”
Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 15th Place] – “Oakland was looking like a promising night for the whole JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team. I qualified third in both of my practices and won my heat race. I was feeling really comfortable and fast on my Suzuki RM-Z250. Unfortunately, I got off to a bad start in the main event and crashed in the whoops. It took me a while to get going and back on the track. I’m bummed on the result, but I feel like I’m riding really well right now. We are going to get the results. Thanks to everyone on the team for helping me all weekend. I love riding for JGRMX and having like-minded people in my corner.”
Enzo Lopes [250 Class, Did Not Qualify] – “It was a tough day. I struggled in practice, especially in the whoops. I didn’t qualify well, but I went to the heat with a fresh mindset. I had a great start, but someone cross-jumped in front of me and I crashed, and my bike was all bent up. I had a good start in the LCQ, but someone ran me wide and I crashed. I couldn’t keep going, because the bike was so bent up. It was out of my hands at that point. I’ll keep on fighting to finish where I belong.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “There was improvement this weekend. Justin Hill was riding better in practice, until he crashed at the end of the whoops. He hurt his shoulder and struggled the rest of the day. We’ll know more later in the week about his condition. Chad Reed rode really well in the main event. He had a good day overall. He would have finished just outside the top five, but [Aaron] Plessinger’s bike was in the middle of the track and he landed on it and crashed. Chad was very fast. The starts were better for everyone, which is what we were focusing on improving this past week.”
“In the 250 class, Enzo Lopes was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He’s learning. The track was tough for him, because the whoops were difficult. Jimmy was great in the whoops and awesome all day, except in the main event. He was so good in the whoops that he didn’t know how to go slower, and he ended up crashing. Hopefully the results come in San Diego.”
The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team will travel to PETCO Park in San Diego, California on Saturday, February 2nd, for the fifth round of the 2019 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship. This will also serve as the fifth round of the 250 Western Regional Supercross series.
Please visit www.jgrmxraceteam.com for more team news.
Photos courtesy of Brown Dog Wilson.
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.
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.
Source: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.