The JGRMX/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team traveled to Fox Raceway in Pala, California this past weekend for round two of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Two-time 250 National series runner-up Alex Martin fought hard in both motos to earn sixth overall amongst a deep field of talent. In the 450 ranks, a rejuvenated Justin Hill arguably put together his best performance of the year in finishing seventh overall on his RM-Z450. Unfortunately for Kyle Peters, a first turn pile-up left the RM-Z250 rider fighting from the back of the pack.
After a rough opening round last weekend, Justin Hill went back to the drawing board and spent a lot of time on his Suzuki RM-Z450 in preparation for the Fox Raceway National. Despite a 16th place start in the first moto, the 24-year-old quickly worked his way up to eighth place, where he eventually finished. A top-ten second moto start is exactly what Hill needed to build his confidence. He remained with the front-runners for the opening stages of the race before settling into seventh. Hill made huge strides from the previous weekend with his 8-7 moto scores.
“I was super bummed after Hangtown and didn’t want to feel that way again,” said Hill. “The experience really motivated me. I’m starting to put my best foot forward. This is a new mindset, so it will take some time to get where I really need to be, but I’m excited to build on this weekend and see where we can go.”
After scoring the team’s first outdoor moto podium at the Hangtown opener, Alex Martin was poised to put two strong motos together. That game plan was disrupted when Martin started 16th in the first moto. Known for his strength and tenacious effort on the bike, A-Mart caught up to tenth place. He crossed the first turn of the second moto in second place and briefly challenged for the lead but fell back to finish sixth. Martin is looking to reset at Thunder Valley and build off his previous strong results.
“I battled throughout the entire moto and ended up in a top-ten position,” said Martin. “I used those frustrations to almost pull the holeshot in the second moto. I ran second and couldn’t make a pass for the lead stick, which threw me out of my rhythm. Overall, it was a solid day, but nowhere near what I’m capable of. I’ll do some testing this week and come out swinging at Thunder Valley.”
Unfortunately, Kyle Peters didn’t show up on his RM-Z250 as planned. After a bad first-turn pile-up in the opening moto, Peter’s got up and fought hard to move forward. In the second moto, he had a mid-pack start but couldn’t ride to his full potential due to back pain. Nevertheless, Peter’s gave maximum effort and is looking to display his full potential at the next outdoor round.
JGRMX/YOSHIMURA/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING TEAM QUOTES
Alex Martin [250 Class, 10-6 for 6th Place] – “I was excited to go back to Pala and race a National there. I like the dirt, and they prepped the track well. I was frustrated with my qualifying speed. The weird thing is that I had really good qualifying speed in Supercross, but I’ve been kind of slow at qualifying outdoors. It’s something I need to work on, because it really effects my gate pick. I wheelied off the gate in the first moto and came out of the hole in 16th. I battled a bunch of guys throughout the entire moto and ended up 10th. I used those frustrations to almost pull the holeshot in the second moto. I ran second and couldn’t make a pass for the lead stick, which threw me out of my rhythm. Overall, it was a solid day, but nowhere near what I’m capable of. I’ll do some testing this week and come out swinging at Thunder Valley.”
Justin Hill [450 Class, 8-7 for 7th Place] – “I was super bummed after Hangtown and didn’t want to feel that way again. The experience really motivated me. I’m starting to put my best foot forward. This is a new mindset, so it will take some time to get where I really need to be, but I’m excited to build on this weekend and see where we can go.”
Kyle Peters [250 Class, 27-20 for 24th Place] – “I had a rough day at Pala. I was involved in a massive first-turn crash in the first moto and tweaked my back. My bike was also pretty mangled, but I got up and fought hard to move forward. After a stop in the mechanic’s area I was basically a lap down. In the second moto I had a mid-pack start and couldn’t ride to my full potential, because I was in a lot of pain and the track was really rough.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – “I was bummed about what happened to Kyle Peters crashing on the start in the first moto. He was riding hurt and couldn’t be at his full potential. Alex Martin had two solid motos. He had a great start in the second moto and made a few mistakes that ended up putting him in sixth. He finished sixth overall.
Justin Hill made huge improvements at Pala. I’m happy with the effort and result. We’re looking to build on this weekend for Colorado.”
“On Wednesday before the race, we got the team together and visited Suzuki for their employee appreciation day. We were able to show them what we do, and quite a few Suzuki employees came out to the track to cheer us on at Pala. It was a fun experience.”