Team Suzuki Press Office – October 14.
Max Anstie: RM-Z450 – 9-6
Suzuki racers wrapped-up the 2020 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season with great moments in a nine-round series that crossed the United States through the late summer and early autumn months.
JGRMX/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Racing kept the team’s Suzuki RM-Z450s and Suzuki RM-Z250 up front from the holeshot stripes to the chequered flags. Twisted Tea H.E.P. Motorsports pulled in amazing results for a team in its first year on the Outdoor circuit. And BarX/ Chaparral/ Fly/ Suzuki Racing introduced two rookies to the series who over-delivered in the most competitive series in off-road racing.
JGRMX/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Racing is no stranger to racing challenges, but no motocross teams had before coped with the COVID lockdowns, varying by state, and the scheduling scrambles that they required. But the professionals persevered and the team helped Suzuki pull in 17 top 10 overall finishes, which included five top fives and two podium overall finishes.
Even in the abbreviated season Alex Martin managed to rack up a moto win, a holeshot and a first place in timed qualification. “A-Mart” was also part of round two’s Suzuki dominance of laps led, totaling 26 when combined with 450cc class laps led by another Suzuki rider, and sat in third place in the point standings during much of the year.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t able to compete at the final race because of a practice incident leaving me with an injury to my right leg.” Martin continued, “I’m pretty disappointed, but we had many positive races this year and we were in the hunt for a top three in the championship down to the last race.”
Joey Savatgy returned from a pre-season injury to make his team debut at the season’s first-ever two-weekend double-header in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee. Savatgy was one of three Suzuki riders who finished inside the top 10 at round seven, making Suzuki the brand with the most machines inside that front group. “Versace” pulled ten top-10 moto finishes and five top-10 overalls, this in spite of having his season cut short with a foot injury incurred at the penultimate round that unfortunately dropped him outside of the top 10 in season points.
“I wasn’t able to race the final round, unfortunately.” Savatgy told, “A nagging injury from the previous round stayed around longer than I thought it would. I was glad to be back at the races but it was a tough year.”
Swedish racer Fredrik Noren took the reins with his career-first holeshot at round two. “Fast Freddie” turned that lead into a career-best fourth-place moto finish. His season unfortunately also got cut short at the final round, surprisingly by a knee injury that required the competitor to withdraw from the final round in Pala, California.
“I was told that I definitely shouldn’t race so decided not to. After the race new X-rays showed nothing. It’s frustrating but I’m also happy I’m not injured,” Noren explained. “Overall I’ve had a great time with the team and I had some good highlights this season; I’m especially happy about my first holeshot and career-best moto finish. I want to give a big thank you to the team and all of our sponsors that have made this happen. I’m happy that we could race considering these crazy times.”
RM-Z450 racer Max Anstie’s return to US racing was a success that included one holeshot, a third-place overall finish, and 11 total laps led. Add nine moto top 10s and a pair of top-five moto finishes and the season is considered a huge success for the Twisted Tea H.E.P. Motorsports’ first year contesting the outdoors.
“It was nice to round out the motocross series with a ninth in the championship and seventh on the day.” said Anstie. “The whole team and I grew and learned at each event. We stayed solid and we were in the race each week. My whole crew did a great job for our first season of outdoors! I’m looking forward to whatever the future holds and making more steps towards the podium.”
Suzuki Rookies Dilan Schwartz and Preston Kilroy of the BarX/ Chaparral/ Fly/ Suzuki Racing Team scored points through the select rounds they competed in. At the final round, Schwartz turned two first turn mishaps into thrilling charges through the pack that saw him advance an unbelievable 52 positions over the course of two motos.
And worth noting was the impressive performance of JGRMX support rider Isaac Teasdale who, in his fifth year of part-time pro racing, ran inside the top 10 at the final round.
“After learning I was the lone JGR Suzuki rider I was ready to get my best result.” Teasdale said. “In moto one I had a great start but got pushed wide. I had a fast pace but rode tight and finished 13th. In my second Moto, I felt better throughout and was close to the top 10, but finished 11th, which is my best finish to date. I really wanted to be in the top 10 this weekend; I was right there, but I’m content and happy with the progress I made in these last four races! It was so awesome to be with JGR and Suzuki and I grew a lot. I’m excited for the future.”
“I’m bummed the last race did not end like we planned,” was how JGRMX Team Manager Jeremy Albrecht summed up the season. “I am happy we had some good races and were able to get nine rounds in. It was nice to have fans at our events and we tried to end 2020 the best we could. Now it’s time to work on plans for 2021. Thank you to everyone who helped us go racing, especially Coy Gibbs and Suzuki.”