Toni Elias – 1-1 for 1st
Roger Hayden – 2-3 for 2nd
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias remained undefeated in MotoAmerica Superbike action at the picturesque Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in front of a massive crowd enjoying picture-perfect conditions in Austin, Texas at the weekend. For the second year in a row Elias won both legs of the season-opening doubleheader dubbed the Championship of Texas.
The clean sweep marked a stunning debut for the completely redesigned 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Not only did the new bike come up with two wins, but it carried Hayden to the pole as well, resulting one of the most remarkable coming out parties of any new motorcycle in the 42-year history of the series. Icing on the cake for Yoshimura Suzuki came in the form of two rostrum finishes for Hayden in the combined MotoGP/ MotoAmerica weekend. Hayden finished a very close second and third respectively in the two rounds.
Elias and Hayden leave Texas, first and second in the standings heading to next week’s Suzuki ECSTAR Championship at Road Atlanta on April 28-30 in Braselton, GA.
Elias and Hayden battled for nearly the entire way in both Saturday and Sunday’s races. On Saturday Hayden made an exciting last-lap pass for the lead, but Elias was able to drive back underneath his teammate and hold on to take the chequered flag. On Sunday it was a three-way fight to the end with defending champ Cameron Beaubier joining the fray and finishing runner up.
“I am very happy with where this puts us in the championship,” Elias explained. “It’s especially good since we were able to provide a great introduction for the new GSX-R1000 with two victories. It’s amazing.”
Even though he came up just short of winning this weekend, Hayden is still encouraged by the performance of the new machine.
“We had an awesome weekend here at COTA,” Hayden said. “We got a lot of points with a second and third. The new GSX-R was working great all weekend. I came up a little bit short, but I’m really excited about the team, how hard they’re working and where we are with the new bike. I’m looking forward to Atlanta already.”