June 25, 2017
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
TWO MORE PODIUMS FOR TEAM HAMMER IN UTAH
Team Hammer scored two podiums and four top-five finishes in MotoAmerica competition on Saturday at Utah Motorsports Campus, and came away from the day wanting more.
That sentiment was expressed well by M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis, who made a late move to secure third place aboard his 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 during the day’s Superstock 1000 race.
Lewis said, “We had another good result and that shows what our team is capable of doing at every race. The whole M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team is working very hard to give me a good bike. But I am a bit frustrated today, even though I was on the podium.
“We’re going to keep working hard. We’ll take a look at the data overnight to try to improve our set-up. Fortunately, we have another shot at it tomorrow.”
It was a virtually identical story for his Supersport-mounted teammate, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise. The Frenchman got away well aboard his GSX-R600 after qualifying on the front row, but he eventually fell back to a lonely third.
Following the race, Debise said, “After qualifying, I thought I had a good race pace, but I struggled during the race after the track temperature came up. After I saw I couldn’t fight for the win and had a lot of space behind me, I slowed up because if I would have pushed I would have finished in the gravel.
“It’s still a podium, but I want to win; I don’t want to be second or third. We were far away from our goal today, and I feel bad about that. But we have another chance tomorrow. In the warm-up, we’ll try something and maybe find what we need to stay up front and have some fun.”
Debise also apologized for his televised comments made immediately after the race. “I would like to apologize to my team and Suzuki about my interview after the race. I was angry about the settings I chose before the race and I don’t want anyone to think I was upset with my crew. I really appreciate the work they do to make my bike even better at every race. I will keep doing my best like I always do.”
M4 Rickdiculous Racing Suzuki’s Daytona Anderson continued to impress with his rapid acclimatization to the team’s machinery in only his second weekend aboard his Supersport-spec GSX-R600. Anderson got shuffled down the order off the grid but fought his way back forward, ultimately finishing fifth in Supersport. Anderson’s top five charge bodes well for his continued progress for the rest of the 2017 season.
M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden finished inside the top five as well, claiming fifth in Superstock 600 (11th in the combined Supersport/STK600 order).
It was a gritty, courageous performance on the part of McFadden, who missed both races at Road America after fracturing his right collarbone during qualifying. McFadden showed remarkable fortitude while racing with a newly-installed titanium plate and staples in his shoulder. Despite being far less than 100%, McFadden not only completed the race, he scrapped for a podium, taking the checkered flag less than a second behind third.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Brandon Cleland rounded out the day for Team Hammer despite being forced off the track in the early laps, finishing 19th in STK600.
Team Hammer will come back fighting on Sunday in search of victory and more podiums on Sunday.
About Team Hammer
The 2017 season marks Team Hammer’s 37th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 66 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 168 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 134 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running “Methanol Monster” GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.