Yoshimura-backed teams all showed their strength during the fourth round of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship season Saturday night at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif.
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Rockstar Energy Suzuki, and Honda racing Supercross teams all proclaimed the performance advantage of their Yoshimura products with strong results.
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ryan Dungey and Brett Metcalfe powered their Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450s to third- and fifth-place finishes in the action-packed 20-lap Supercross main event.
Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki Supercross) says: "The day started off good. My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team got things dialed in pretty good in practice and I felt really comfortable on the bike. The heat race was a little tough – I didn’t get off to the best start and the track was a bit greasy.
"I got a better start in the main and worked my way up to second, but unfortunately I got passed right at the end. All in all, my RM-Z450 worked great and the team did a great job. It will be great to go back to Anaheim. We know more what to expect there and hopefully we can get a good start and put the Rockstar Makita Suzuki up front."
Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki Supercross) says: "We made some changes to my Suzuki this week. And I want to thank everyone at Rockstar Makita Suzuki, as we really found my comfort zone and I’m feeling really good on the bike.
"I did struggle in the whoops tonight but my Suzuki was working awesome. I felt a lot better out there on the track – I was starting to make moves and pick guys off and was able to work my way up to fifth and felt good. I got passed with three laps to go but was able to pass back on the last lap. I’m excited to get back to Anaheim. We’re definitely progressing – a fifth tonight was good and now we have some momentum going into Anaheim."
For the second week in a row, Canard was American Honda Racing’s sole representative in the Supercross competition with teammate Josh Grant sidelined with an injury. Canard got his night off to a solid start in his Supercross heat race by getting a good start and ran up front in second place.
Unfortunately, Canard was unable to replicate that start in the main and rounded the opening turn at the rear of the pack. In damp racing conditions, Canard dug deep and mustered all of his talent to fight his way up into the top 10 and finish in a hard-earned sixth place.
Trey Canard (GEICO Honda Supercross) says: "Man, I really need to figure out my starts. I definitely didn’t put myself in a good position to get on the podium this week. I’m not sure what I did to be dead last off the start, but I know I’m not going to be on the podium if I put myself at the back of the field at the start of the race.
"I had to work so hard to get up to sixth position and the rainy conditions certainly didn’t make the job any easier. I got a holeshot last week so I know I can do it. I just have to figure out how to be consistent out of the start gate."
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki scored a sixth and a 16th-place finish in Oakland. Ryan Morais powered his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z250 to a sixth-place finish and teammate Martin Davalos finished the 15-lap lites main event in 16th.
Ryan Morais (Rockstar Energy Suzuki Supercross) says: "I think my day went alright. My heat race went really good. It was a good battle and I ended up second. My Rockstar Energy Suzuki team did a great job getting my bike ready for the main.
"I didn’t get a great jump in the main, but was able to work up to fifth. Then I had a few mistakes and tightened up and ended up finishing sixth. The track conditions were tough and I’m happy I was able to keep my Suzuki RM-Z on two wheels.
"I’m third in Supercross points, but I have to start winning some of these if I want to win this championship, so that’s what I’m going to focus on. I’m going to put some time on my Suzuki this week and get ready for Anaheim."
Martin Davalos (Rockstar Energy Suzuki Supercross) says: "It was a disappointing weekend. In the first practice I hurt my groin a little bit, but I pulled through and my Suzuki RM-Z powered me to a fourth-place qualifying time. The heat race was tough and I went down in the sand and just barely qualified.
"I went down in the sand again in the main and eventually got going in dead last. My Rockstar Energy Suzuki team did a great job, but I had a disappointing weekend. I know I have the speed and the fitness; I just need to work on my head and my concentration. I hope to be better for Anaheim Supercross."
The next stop of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship for the Yoshimura-backed teams is Saturday, February 5th, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. You can meet all of the Yoshimura-backed riders at Chaparral Motorsports, 555 South H Street, in San Bernardino, Calif., from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb 2.