Team Suzuki Press Office – July 22.
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias scored a come-from-behind victory on Saturday in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Utah Motorsports Complex, marking the 200th win for Suzuki in the MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike Championship.
Suzuki is the all-time wins leader among manufacturers in the 42-year history of MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike.
Elias took the Utah Race 1 win by chasing down rival Cameron Beaubier in the closing laps. On the last lap the two swapped the lead, but it was Elias powering to the front on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 to win by a margin of 0.494 seconds.
Teammate Roger Hayden was running a strong third in the race before crashing unhurt and eventually pulling out of the contest.
“It is an honour to be a part of this historic win,” Elias said. “To be there along with all of the great riders who have won with Suzuki in the past means a lot to me. This was a team effort and I also want to thank the entire Yoshimura Suzuki team for working so hard to give me a great motorcycle. This is a day I will long remember.”
Kerry Graeber, Suzuki’s Vice President, Sales and Marketing, said: “Reaching 200 wins in MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike shows the unwavering commitment Suzuki has to racing in America. Suzuki engineers in Japan have given us an amazing motorcycle in the GSX-R1000, which carries on the lineage of Suzuki’s championship-winning sportbikes. We’ve also been fortunate to have so many great riders race for us in the past who helped make this possible, not to mention the teams and crew members who worked so hard to help make Suzuki the winningest motorcycle in the history of the series.”
The path to 200 victories for Suzuki started 41 years ago. Here’s a look back at some of the significant MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike milestones for Suzuki.
• At Laguna Seca in 1977, Steve McLaughlin gave Suzuki its first AMA Superbike victory. McLaughlin was on a Yoshimura Suzuki GS750-based machine.
• Aaron Yates scored the 50th Suzuki Superbike win aboard a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 in Road Atlanta race one in May of 2003.
• The honor of the milestone 100th win for Suzuki went to Ben Spies in Fontana race one in 2007.
• Blake Young took victory in race two at Road Atlanta in 2010 for Suzuki’s 150th AMA Superbike win.
• Yoshimura Suzuki has won all but five of the Suzuki MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike wins. Jake Zemke (Jordan Suzuki), Martin Cardenas (M4 Suzuki), John Bettencourt (Yoshimura East) and Roger Hayden (Jordan Suzuki) were the only four riders in the 42-year history of MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike to win on non-factory Suzuki race bikes.
Suzuki MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike Winners:
MATHEW MLADIN 78
BEN SPIES 28
TONI ELIAS 22
BLAKE YOUNG 13
KEVIN SCHWANTZ 9
AARON YATES 9
TOMMY HAYDEN 8
WES COOLEY 7
ROGER HAYDEN 7
DOUG POLEN 4
MARTIN CARDENAS 3
STEVE MCLAUGHLIN 2
JAKE ZEMKE 2
JOHN BETTENCOURT 1
GRAEME CROSBY 1
MIGUEL DUHAMEL 1
JAMIE A HACKING 1
JAMIE JAMES 1
PASCAL PICOTTE 1
RON PIERCE 1
SCOTT RUSSELL 1
Yoshimura Suzuki looks to add to the Superbike win tally as day two of the Championship of Utah continues at the Utah Motorsports Campus in Tooele, Utah today, July 22.