The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team headed to the famed Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, this past weekend for round ten of the 2019 Monster Energy Supercross Championship and the fifth stop of the 250 Eastern Regional Supercross Series.
RM-Z250 mounted Alex Martin tackled rough conditions last Saturday night to earn his second top-five finish of the 250 East series. The Minnesota native took second in his heat race giving him a favorable gate pick for the main. A-Mart battled with the lead pack for most of the race and used his talent and experience to help catapult him to the checkered flag. Martin sits in fourth in the championship point’s chase.
Teammate Kyle Peters has been focusing on bringing his practice intensity to the series and displayed great progress in Daytona. After finishing fourth in his heat race, the RM-Z250 rider rocketed out of the gate in the main to capture the holeshot and dramatically lead the 22-rider field for the first couple laps. Although he faded at the end, Peters managed seventh. Leading the Daytona Supercross in front of a huge crowd will be a huge boost for Peters’ confidence.
“I’m going to take the positives from Daytona,” said Peters. “It felt good to get the holeshot and lead for a few laps in the main. My arms locked up after I got passed, so I didn’t put in my best riding after that. I’m going to keep starting up front and try to lead longer until we are winning.”
In the 450 class, Justin Hill scored his best finish of the season despite the notoriously challenging Daytona track which many liken more to an Outdoor National than a Supercross. The Oregon native qualified fifth on his Suzuki RM-Z450 and carried that confidence all the way into the night program. Riding with more aggression than he has shown in previous rounds, Hill quickly moved his way up through the main event with a seventh place finish.
Chad Reed was seeking for his fourth 450 Daytona Supercross victory. After finishing fourth in his heat race, Reed put himself in position to excel once again. The two-time 450 Supercross Champion rounded the first corner of the main event inside the top-ten and remained there throughout the 18-lap race. “Reedy” is determined for another podium finish this next week in Indiana as he continues his hall of fame career.
“As for the 450 guys, that was the best we’ve seen Hill ride at a race,” said Jeremy Albrecht, Team Manager. “Daytona should be a confidence builder for him. Reed put in another strong finish, which is great. The guy is turning 37 years old this week, and he’s inside the top-ten in Supercross.”
JGRMX/YOSHIMURA/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING - TEAM QUOTES
Alex Martin [250 Class, 5th Place] – “I was off in practice, but was able to put it together and get sixth fastest in the final practice. I wasn’t hanging it out for some reason. I had a really good gate pick in the heat race and finished second. I was frustrated with making some small mistakes. I had another good gate pick in the main, came around in the top five, and battled with some guys. Mitchell Oldenburg and I matched lap times for most of the main, so I couldn’t close the gap on him for fourth. The main was the best I rode all day. I was consistent with hitting the rhythm sections. They were massive this weekend. It was a solid ride, and the best I’ve ever done in Daytona. I’m fourth in points and looking forward to Indianapolis.”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 7th Place] – “I made good progress. Buddy Antunez and I have been working really hard during the week to get better on race days. I have to keep working to stay up front. I’m going to take the positives from Daytona. It felt good to get the holeshot and lead for a few laps in the main. It’s where I need to be. My arms locked up after I got passed, so I didn’t put in my best riding after that. Still, my first few laps were solid. I’m going to keep starting up front and try to lead longer and longer until we are winning.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 7th Place] – “I had my best night of the season so far in the main event. I fought harder at the beginning of the race than normal. I was really close to a top-five spot, but I had a few big mistakes that slowed my run toward the front guys. A seventh place finish isn’t where I want to be. All in all, I’m happy with the direction I’m headed.”
Chad Reed [450 Class, 10th Place] – “Lately I have become accustomed to getting through practice and qualifying, and then I feel more like my normal self when it’s gate drop time. This weekend it was the opposite. I felt good all day, but didn’t feel quite right when they turned on the lights and dropped the gates. I need to find a little higher level in both situations. Hopefully that’s this week’s birthday gift!”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “It was nice to have all four guys in the top ten. The track was challenging, so it was cool to watch all of our guys ride so well. It was cool that Kyle Peters holeshot and led a few laps. He learned the pace, rode tight and recovered to end up seventh. Alex Martin rode strong and ended up fifth.”
“As for the 450 guys, that was the best we’ve seen Justin Hill ride at a race. People finally saw how he rides during the week. Daytona should be a confidence builder for Justin. Chad Reed put in another top ten finish, which is great. The guy is turning 37 years old this week, and he’s finishing inside the top ten in Supercross. Of course, we would all like to get on the podium again, but it was a solid finish for Chad.”