The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team rolled into Spring Creek, Minnesota for round eight of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Riding the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450, Weston Peick dazzled the massive crowd by logging ultra-consistent moto scores in finishing sixth place. Teammate Justin Hill overcame near heartbreak in the first moto by slicing through the pack to land another top ten finish in his 450 National rookie campaign. Justin Bogle nailed a staggering fourth holeshot in six motos, and secured his best results of the season. In the 250 ranks, Brazilian rookie sensation Enzo Lopes made his return after a several race lay-off as a result of a cracked collarbone, and logged valuable seat time on a track he has never ridden before. He was joined by Suzuki RM-Z250 teammate Jimmy Decotis, who rode with fervor but was waylaid by a bout of bad luck.
Two torn tendons won’t stop Weston Peick from putting his Suzuki RM-Z450 near the front of the pack. In both motos the Southern California native was inside the top five when the field rounded the tricky right-hand first turn. He held strong, managing to navigate the whoop-laden hills of Millville with an injured hand. Peick’s 6-6 moto scores earned him sixth place overall. He is also sixth overall in the points standings.
Justin Hill is receiving an education in 450 racing this summer, and he’s passing with flying colors. The Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team decided to give Hill seat time on the Suzuki RM-Z450 in preparation for the 2019 season. The Yoncalla, Oregon native has done well, and he continued that success in Minnesota. Hill charged through the pack in the opening moto after getting tangled up in the first turn, moving from 26th to tenth by moto’s end. A better start in the final moto, coupled with lightning-fast lap times late in the day, resulted in seventh position. With 10-7 moto scores for 8th overall, Hill moved up to ninth place in the overall points standings.
Benjamin Franklin once wrote that there are two certainties in life; death and taxes. Judging by Justin Bogle and the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450, another certainty may need to be added to the list; Bogle getting holeshots every weekend. The Cushing, Oklahoma native has tripped the chalk line first in four out of the past eight moto starts. Leading the field proved advantageous at Millville, as Bogle logged his best outdoor results of the season. The 14-12 moto scores placed him 12th overall on the day. He is 29th in the overall standings.
Rookie Enzo Lopes has endured a rollercoaster ride this summer. A valuable addition to the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team prior to the start of the Pro Motocross Championship, Lopes showed outstanding speed and endurance. Unfortunately, a tumble at High Point left the Brazilian with a cracked collarbone. He returned to action at Millville after a three-round layoff, despite having only a few rides on the Suzuki RM-Z250. He showed grit and determination by racing through the pain to score 17-19 moto finishes for 19th overall. Lopes is also 19th in points.
Jimmy Decotis is making progress since returning from a serious back injury. Known as “The Rippa” by his legion of fans, Decotis put in great effort on Saturday, but the deep and rutted conditions held him back from having a record day. Decotis’ 16-24 moto scores were good enough for 20th overall. He is also 20th in the points standings.
Weston Peick [450 Class, 6-6 for 6th Place] – “Spring Creek wasn’t too bad of a day for me. I tested some suspension this last week in California, and we made really good progress. I came into the weekend with a fresh mind, especially after having a weekend off from racing, and that ended up helping me out. I couldn’t do much more than what I could with my hand, especially on the downhills. My goal was to keep it consistent and steady, and I did that.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 10-7 for 8th Place] – “I felt really good at Millville. The track suited my style and was really technical. I had great vibes and qualified well, but I totally messed up my starts. It’s unfortunate, because I believe I had the speed to run a lot higher. Still, I dug deep and came up to tenth in the first moto and seventh in the second. I’m going to put a lot of emphasis on my starting technique this week and try to be prepared for Washougal. Heck, maybe I’ll call my teammate Justin Bogle and see if he will tell me his secret, because his starts are dialed!”
Justin Bogle [450 Class, 14-12 for 12th Place] – “The weekend was an improvement. I felt really good in first practice, but then I had a tough crash in the second practice. That slowed my roll for the rest of the day. I had a tough time getting my momentum back. I had a good start in the first moto, but struggled. In the second moto I got another holeshot, which is always nice. That Suzuki RM-Z450 is a beautiful machine. It makes tons of horsepower! However, I struggled again and ended up 12th for 12th overall. My return to racing has been frustrating. It’s the opposite of what I thought it was going to be like coming back. I’ll get better each weekend, so I’ll keep working hard.”
Enzo Lopes [250 Class, 17-19 for 19th Place] – “The weekend was pretty tough. Even so, I was happy to be back at the races with the team and to have an opportunity to race Millville. The sand rollers were awesome! Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a flow around the track. My starts weren’t good, and that made my race pretty challenging. I couldn’t find the right lines. The Suzuki RM-Z250 was amazing, though. It’s all on me. I have no excuses. We’ll work this week to get ready for Washougal. I rode there before and I like the track. The dirt is like what I’m used to in Brazil. I love being around the team every weekend. They work so hard to give me the best equipment. I just got back from injury, so I’m taking things one step at a time. The results weren’t what I was hoping for, but we have next weekend.”
Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 16-24 for 20th Place] – “Millville was a better race than the previous rounds, although the results don’t show it. We made good progress with my settings, and I’m mentally in a better place. I had a bad case of food poisoning this week, which really hurt me in the second moto. Overall, I’m taking a step in the right direction. The Millville track was really good. The area got hit with a lot of rain leading up to Saturday, but they let the track develop naturally. It really separated the men from the boys.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – "Weston Peick fought hard the whole day. His second moto was better than his first. He has been great considering that he’s dealing with an injured hand every weekend. I’m happy with his effort. Justin Hill rode really well, but he needs better starts. He was in last place going into the first corner and came up to tenth. We will focus on starts this week. Justin Bogle, on the other hand, has his starts dialed. He just needs to keep making progress. In the 250 class, Jimmy Decotis is coming back from injury. He was a bit quicker, but he was sick all week. Then he threw up after the first moto, during the second moto, and again after the second moto. He was really weak. Enzo Lopes rode okay. He crashed halfway through the second moto, so that kept him back. Enzo expected to do better, but it’s hard to do that without getting a lot of riding in.”