Yoshimura-backed teams showed their strength and fortitude in the ninth round of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., this past weekend.
The Rockstar Makita Suzuki, Rockstar Energy Suzuki, and Honda Supercross teams utilized the performance advantage of their Yoshimura products with their solid results on the extremely tough Daytona track.
Team Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Ryan Dungey overcame adversity after an unfortunate mechanical issue in his heat race and a trip to the LCQ to put his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z450 on the Supercross podium with a third-place finish. Teammate Brett Metcalfe had a rough night, finishing 18th in the grueling 20-lap main event.
Ryan Dungey (Rockstar Makita Suzuki Supercross) says: "I owe a lot to my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team today. They worked their butt off to get my Suzuki ready for the LCQ and for it to run that good in the main was unbelievable. I'm really happy - we had our work cut out for us tonight. With the cards that were dealt and the circumstances, I think we handled everything the best we could and did all we could.
"I think at the end of the day, we're happy with the result. I'm really looking forward to Indy; the new Lucas Oil Stadium is really cool and the fans there are great. It'll be good to get back indoors."
Brett Metcalfe (Rockstar Makita Suzuki Supercross) says: "This track is always tough. And last week's crash took a lot out of me physically. I knew it was gonna be tough coming in, but I tried to be positive. We got better through practice - My Rockstar Makita Suzuki team really got the bike working good for me and I couldn't really ask for anything more.
"I just wasn't physically prepared for that kind of race. I tried to make a game plan and stick to it, but I lost that game plan about halfway through the main. I felt good at the beginning of the main, but by the halfway point, it was tough for me and I lost a bit of focus there. We're still in one piece and I just hope to have a good week and move on."
After finishing third in his heat race, Canard got away to a mid-pack start in the Supercross main. Nearing the end of the opening lap, he tangled with another rider, with both riders going down.
Rejoining the race at the back of the field, Canard worked his way through the pack and by lap 12 was holding down ninth position. Midway through that lap, a Supercross rider crashed right in front of him and he was again on the ground. Relinquishing several spots in the fall, Canard got up and soldiered on to take the checkers in 13th place.
Trey Canard (American Honda Supercross) says: "Man, what a tough night. Every rider knows that nights like tonight are going to happen some time in their career, but knowing that doesn't make it any less frustrating when it actually happens to you. I had one of those nights where I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"But that's just racing, I guess. I can't really complain because I've been among the top finishers each week up until now. I'll put this race behind me and focus on staying positive and preparing for next weekend's Indianapolis round."
Team Rockstar Energy Suzuki scored a top ten finish in the third round of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Lites East Championship season. Jason Anderson powered his Yoshimura-equipped Suzuki RM-Z250 to a sixth-place finish in the 15-lap lites main event.
Jason Anderson (Rockstar Energy Suzuki Supercross) says: "Daytona actually worked out pretty good for me. I struggled a little bit in my heat race but made it through to the main. In the main, I got bumped at the start and bent my shift lever; it ended up stuck in third gear.
"I had to ride the whole race in third gear so I was on the rev limiter every lap through the whoops, but my RMZ was amazing and held together - I was pretty excited to come away with a sixth. The Daytona track was kind of a curveball for me, so I'm excited to go to Indy and get back to an indoor stadium."
Anderson's Rockstar Energy Supercross teammate, Ian Trettel, suffered a bad crash in the afternoon's first timed practice and sustained a serious head injury. Trettel was treated onsite by the Asterisk mobile medical crew and local EMTs and immediately transported to Halifax Medical Center, where he remains under sedation and observation. Reports indicate no sign of spinal cord damage or paralysis and initial CT scans were positive.
The next stop of the 2011 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship for the Yoshimura-backed teams is Saturday, March 12th, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. You can meet the Team Suzuki riders on Friday, March 11th, from 6 to 7 PM at Dreyer Motorsports, 4170 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, Ind.