The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team rolled into the prestigious Daytona International Raceway to battle the competition on a demanding outdoor-style course. Suzuki RM-Z450 mounted Weston Peick was in a top-five position for much of the main. Suzuki RM-Z250 rider Kyle Peters continues to improve each week, as the North Carolina native finished a season-best sixth.
After overcoming a scary practice crash in Atlanta last week, Peick shrugged off the pain to finish third in his heat race. The ever-determined SoCal native gated well in the main event and held third place for several laps. The effects of the Atlanta crash caused Peick to tighten up, but that didn’t prevent him from nearly tying a season-best finish. Peick finished the night in sixth, and stands in sixth in the 450 championship standings.
Peters is finding his form in the 250 East Supercross series. His results have continued to improve every weekend. At Daytona, Peters started inside the top ten and craftily worked his way into sixth place by race end. He now sits ninth in the 250 East championship standings, only six points out of fifth place.
Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team 450 rider Malcolm Stewart looked at home in the sandy and technical Florida conditions. Stewart was well inside the top ten off the start on his RM-Z450 and looked poised to log a great result. Unfortunately, he and another rider made contact, pushing Stewart back deep in the pack. He recovered to finish 16th, and is 13th in the 450 championship standings.
Jimmy Decotis was anxious to race at the famed Daytona circuit. With the goal of landing on the podium for his second time in four races, the Mass. native swiftly worked up to the rear of teammate Peters on the opening lap. He misjudged a tricky dragon’s back obstacle and was sent into an endo and crashed. Decotis was transported to a local hospital, where it was discovered that he sustained multiple fractures to his back and ribs. We will provide a full status report on his condition when it becomes available.
Weston Peick [450 Class, 6th Place] – “Daytona went better than expected for me. I got sick this past week, and I was obviously sore from my crash in Atlanta. I got off to a decent start in my heat race, but then got tangled up in the first turn. I charged up to third, so I was happy with that. I had a good start in the main event and rode in third place for quite a while. Then, due to being sick and sore, I fell back a few positions. Regardless, I’m happy to get some good points and head into next weekend feeling better.”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 6th Place] – “I had a good day. Right off the bat I felt better than all of the other races. I got in a little bit better of a flow. My practice times were up there. I had a good start in the heat race and rode defensively, so I need to work on that. Everyone flinched off the gate at the start of the 250 main event and I got a terrible jump, but I came around in the top ten. I need to be a bit more aggressive with my riding, but I’m gaining ground. Sixth place isn’t where I want to be, but we’re making improvements. The goal is to be on the box, and I’m not satisfied until I get up there.”
Malcolm Stewart [450 Class, 16th Place] – “I felt really good on the RM-Z450 all day long. The heat race went well, and I finished fourth. In the main event I was running in seventh place after a few laps, but tangled with another rider. I fell back to 18th, and moved up to 16th by the end of the race. That’s part of racing. The important part is to learn from mistakes and keep moving forward.”
Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 21st Place] – “I qualified inside the top ten for the night program and was looking forward to a good main event. Unfortunately, I had a big crash before the finish line early in the race. I have a couple fractures in my back and some broken ribs. Back injuries are scary, so I’m truly blessed with the outcome. Thanks so much to everyone at the track medical unit for taking care of me.”
“I’m extremely bummed right now. I love racing my dirt bike, and these next few weeks will be tough. I’ll see a specialist on Tuesday when I arrive back in Charlotte. Thanks to my girlfriend, my family, and for the whole Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team. ‘The Rippa’ will be back, don’t you worry!”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “The day was going well. Peters continues to improve, which is great to see. He worked hard to get that sixth-place finish in the 250 main, which is where he belongs. Decotis was riding better than he had been the past few weeks. It seemed like a weekend where he would finish on the podium again. Then, while trying to pass Peters, he crashed hard and ended up hurting himself. We’ll know more later this week.”
“Peick looked like he was going to get a podium, but then he dropped back to sixth. He’s so tough that I forgot that he crashed really hard last weekend in Atlanta. His shoulder got tight and, as a result, his arm went numb. He had a good weekend considering the amount of pain that he was in. Stewart was riding really smooth and fast, but had an unfortunate incident with another rider that set him back. He and Peick will be at JGRMX this week to do some testing, which should be great.”
“The Daytona track was really good, with a lot of jumps. It wasn’t as sketchy as normal. There were a lot of passing opportunities, which made for great racing. The fans seemed into it, too. Overall, it was a really good event.”