Monday, 29 February 2016

Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart @ Atlanta Supercross

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague 

A 14th-place finish would not normally solicit a smile from Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s James Stewart, but considering the Atlanta Supercross, Saturday, in front of 61,683 at the Georgia Dome, marked the first Monster Energy AMA Supercross finish in nearly two years for the former champion, you can understand how he might view the race as an accomplishment.

Stewart finished the race in Atlanta hampered physically after jamming his knee in a qualifying race earlier in the evening. Many riders might have called it a night, but Stewart was determined to get a finish and he soldiered on even though he was far from 100 percent. For Stewart Atlanta marked what he hopes will be the beginning of a climb back to competitiveness after battling back from injury this season, which kept him off the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 for most of the year.

In Atlanta the results were not quite what fans have come to expect from one of the all-time greats of AMA Supercross, but as Stewart later explained, top results were not his primary goal on this night. He simply wanted to compete and get a race finish under his belt. The goal may have been modest, but to come back from what Stewart has gone through, the bottom line is, he was happy to accomplish what he set out to do.

Stewart finished timed qualifying in 12th. He then ran second in his heat race before crashing late. That put him in the semi where he qualified for the main, but in the process he badly jammed his knee. Even though there was considerable discomfort, Stewart was doggedly determined to race, and finish, the main even.

He ran in the top 10 early on in the main and eventually finished 14th. The fact of where he finished didn’t matter as much as it normally might - Stewart was content for now just to get back into the swing of racing.

“I’m just happy to be back and playing in the dirt,” Stewart said of Atlanta. “Today we worked on testing new pieces on the bike. We haven’t had a lot of testing time, so we came here and we were making a lot of changes. We made the bike a lot better for the heat race, unfortunately I went down on the next to last lap.

“I went to the semi and was running third, all good, then I jumped in that dragon’s back and jammed my knee pretty good. After that it was kind of survival mode. Even though in the main event it as kind of survival mode, but I refused to pull off. I’m happy we got through the weekend. It’s the first supercross race I’ve finished since April of 2014. I got 20 laps in and we’ll build off that. We’ve got some work to do, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

Stewart said he is looking to move up as the season progresses. “We found some things that worked well on the bike here and I think that’s going to make us better in the next few races,” Stewart explained. “14th is not the finish I wanted, but it’s better than a DNF. We’ll get there.”

Stewart’s Yoshimura Suzuki teammate Blake Baggett continues to rehab an injured shoulder. So far he’s not set a timetable for his return. It will be dictated by the progress of his shoulder. The series now heads next week to the legendary Daytona International Speedway for the Daytona Supercross. The race will be shown on Fox Sports 1 starting at 10:00 pm Eastern.

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Friday, 19 February 2016

Yoshimura Suzuki Team Blake Baggett + James Stewart Out Of Arlington Supercross

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague 

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing will not compete in this weekend’s Arlington Supercross. The team learned this week that Blake Baggett will be unable to race for next few rounds due to continued pain associated with his injured shoulder. James Stewart has also elected to continue training for a return and will sit out this Saturday’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross event at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Baggett raced the most recent round of the series in San Diego, but found that his shoulder was still very painful under race conditions. He visited a specialist once back home in California, and it was discovered he had severe inflammation of his shoulder socket.

“The extra stress put on the shoulder on Saturday was just too much,” said Mike Webb, Yoshimura Suzuki’s team manager. “We don’t have a certain timetable on Blake’s return. It depends on how he reacts to treatment, but he hopes to be back after he sits out a few rounds and gets some rehab in.”

Stewart reports he is greatly improved from the concussion he suffered earlier this season, but he feels he hasn’t had enough seat time on the bike yet to make a return this weekend.

“James wants to get some laps on the bike this week and next before he tries to come back,” Webb explained. “Right now it’s just a matter of getting laps in to get his fitness level back up to where he can feel comfortable for an entire race. He’s shooting for an Atlanta return, but that’s not set in stone. Obviously it’s been a difficult Supercross season for us, but injuries are part of the sport and we want our riders to be healthy and confident that they are ready to go before trying to race.”

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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's James Stewart @ San Diego

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague 

Check out what Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's James Stewart had to say at the 2016 AMA/FIM Supercross event in San Diego, California


San Diego, the eighth largest city in the country, is often referred to as “America’s Finest City” and for good reason! Known for its great hotels and accommodations, beautiful weather, pristine beaches, friendly people and a plethora of entertainment, San Diego is a favorite travel destination for visitors across the globe. 

The Official Travel Resource for the San Diego Region - Find information on San Diego hotels, restaurants and events for visitors, meeting planners and travel agents.

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Monday, 15 February 2016

Blake Baggett Tumbles Out Of San Diego AMA Supercross

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague 

After missing a round nursing a sore shoulder, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Blake Baggett made his return to Monster Energy AMA Supercross competition Saturday night in front of 40,528 fans at Petco Park in San Diego. Unfortunately, a slick track caught Baggett out and he tumbled twice at inopportune times and as a result failed to make the main.

Baggett reported great improvement of his recently surgically-repaired shoulder, which he battered again in Oakland two weeks ago, but he admitted he was still far from 100 percent.

He slid out and fell while running second in a semi and then again in the first turn of the Last Chance Qualifier, ending Baggett’s final shot of making San Diego’s final.

“Blake knows trying to come back and work his way back into race shape in the middle of the season is a tough thing to do,” said Yoshimura Suzuki’s team manager Mike Webb. “But credit to him, he’s willing to take his lumps and fight his way back up the ladder.

“Things didn’t work the way we’d hoped in San Diego, but we’re happy to have Blake out there competing and representing the team. He showed flashes of what he’s capable of at times, but after being out so long, obviously he’s going to have to get through these kinds of nights before it all starts clicking for him. We admire his willingness to tough it out and race his way back into shape. We’re confident Blake will get back to his normal self as the season progresses.”

Baggett’s Yoshimura Suzuki teammate James Stewart was on hand to meet fans and sign autographs in San Diego. Stewart is slated to test this week and hopes to be back ready to race, possibly as soon as this coming Saturday in Dallas or perhaps by Atlanta in two weeks.



The Yoshimura Suzuki squad will be on hand as the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season continues next weekend with the championship's annual visit to the home of the Dallas Cowboys, Arlington, Texas, and AT&T Stadium on Saturday, February 20.

Both Stewart and Baggett are slated to be in town early for a dealer appearance on Friday, Feb. 19 from 6-7:00 pm at Arlington Motorsports, 2501 Centennial Drive, Arlington Texas, 76011, where fans can meet the riders and get autographed Yoshimura Suzuki posters.

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Friday, 12 February 2016

Yoshimura Suzuki Retains Roger Hayden & Jake Lewis

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague

Yoshimura Suzuki the winningest team readies for 40th Anniversary AMA Superbike season. Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing will once again field riders Roger Hayden and Jake Lewis in the upcoming 2016 MotoAmerica AMA Superbike Championship. Hayden and Lewis will race the legendary Suzuki GSX-R1000, the all-time winningest motorcycle in series history.

Roger Hayden
It’s a milestone season for the team and the series. 2016 marks the 40th anniversary of the MotoAmerica AMA Superbike Championship, which launched as a national series in 1976. Yoshimura Suzuki is the team with the deepest roots in the series, having been a part of the prestigious championship since its inception. Don Sakakura, Senior Vice President of Yoshimura R&D of America, is proud of Yoshimura Suzuki’s long relationship with America’s top domestic motorcycle road racing championship.

“I have to admit I look back with some amazement to realize we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of MotoAmerica AMA Superbike and the fact that Yoshimura has been part of the series since its founding,” Sakakura commented. “The years sort of creep up on you and I guess it’s true when they say time flies when you’re having fun. This season will be special because of the 40th anniversary and we’re proud to have been a part of that rich history and tradition.”

Hayden and Lewis will be teammates for the second
Jake Lewis
consecutive year.

“Roger and Jake work very well together as teammates,” Sakakura continued. “We’re looking forward to continue to develop and evolve the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike. It’s proven to be a great racing platform and we hope to be able to help both Roger and Jake be strong contenders for the championship this year.”

The 2016 MotoAmerica season kicks off at the state-of-the-art road course, Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas on April 8-10, 2016.

You can keep up with the team’s progress by visiting www.yoshimura-racing.com and via YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/SuzukiCycles.

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Thursday, 4 February 2016

Yoshimura Suzuki To Miss Phoenix Supercross Round

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing will miss this week’s round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, FIM Championship at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The reason for the absence this weekend is that both Yoshimura Suzuki riders are sidelined. Rider James Stewart is undergoing a series of tests to better understand the source of the blurred vision he experienced in last week’s race. He should find out more after getting those results about his schedule to return to action. Teammate Blake Baggett bruised his shoulder in Oakland and needs a bit of healing time.

Yoshimura Suzuki will return as soon as either rider is ready to ride and hopes to back in some capacity in San Diego.

“After retiring from the race with vision problems in Oakland, we encouraged James to undergo further testing and make sure he is 100 percent healthy before returning to racing,” said Mike Webb, team manager for Yoshimura Suzuki. “And Blake took a big hit to the same shoulder he just had surgery on this past weekend. Fortunately, he hasn’t re-broken the shoulder, however it is deeply bruised and at this point he only has limited range of motion. Blake is fairly confident that he should be ready to go by the following round in San Diego.”

The team will issue further updates when additional information is available.

Team Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&D, Suzuki Motor of America, Dunlop, Motorex, Showa, Renthal, Vortex, Shorai, Elf Racing Fuels, Seven, Hinson Clutch Components, RG3, Matrix, Works Connection, GET, Excel, NGK, D.I.D., Twin Air, Moto Tassinari, Roy’s Cyclery, Guts Racing Products, Mechanix Wear, Kokusan Denki, N-Style and Ogio.

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Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing @ Oakland, California SX

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague

Check out Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing's James Stewart, Blake Baggett and the team at the 2016 AMA/FIM Supercross event in Oakland, California



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Monday, 1 February 2016

James Stewart & Blake Baggett @ Oakland SuperCross

Motorcycle Real Road Racing Blog by Barbiegirl @ The Hague

It was a day of firsts for Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Saturday at Oakland’s O.co Coliseum. In Oakland both team riders James Stewart and Blake Baggett were back in action for the first time together in round four of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross, FIM World Championship. And while the final results weren’t what either rider hoped for, there was a still a good feeling inside the squad going into the night for being back to full strength and having everyone back at the track and working to move forward. That positive energy was tempered however later in the evening as Stewart pulled out of the race with vision issues and Baggett fell hard and banged up the same shoulder he’d recently had surgery on.

Stewart was back racing for the first time since suffering a concussion at round one of the series early this month in Anaheim, and Baggett made his 2016 racing debut upon returning from pre-season surgery.

Both riders looked strong aboard their potent Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450s, especially Stewart, who led most of the way in his heat race before finishing second.

Ultimately it was a difficult night for the riders. Stewart ran near the front early in the final before pulling out of the race on lap nine. Baggett looked fast out of the gate, but suffered a big crash in his heat race, which tempered his approach for the rest of the night. In his first race of 2016, Baggett made it into the main and then rode conservatively to finish 15th.

Stewart and Baggett came out of the gate with nice results in qualifying. Stewart qualified sixth with a time of 54.558 seconds around the challenging O.co Coliseum track. Baggett was 11th with a time of 55.199 seconds. Stewart qualified straight into the main with an excellent second-place performance in his heat race, which he led until the final lap. Baggett ran near the front in his heat before coming up short on a rhythm section and crashing hard. He rebounded and made the main by way of a fourth-place in his semi.

In the main Stewart used the starting power of his Suzuki RM-Z450 to get a solid jump and ran third early on. He looked good for about the first five laps before his lap times began dropping, with something obviously wrong. By lap eight he fell to seventh and then a lap later pulled off reporting blurred vision.

“James came in feeling he was good to go,” said Yoshimura Suzuki team manager Mike Webb. “He rode three days this week and put in a lot of laps. He was riding well and looked more like the old James. He was solid all day and did well in his heat although didn't feel 100 percent. He got a great start in the main but after a couple laps he started to struggle with blurred vision and by lap nine he pulled off. He's going to get some tests done early this week and we'll see where we are then.”

Baggett left Oakland a bit disappointed, in spite of meeting his main goal of finishing in his first race back. “It definitely didn’t go as planned here in Oakland tonight,” Baggett admitted. “It was my first race back after shoulder surgery. I felt pretty frisky in practice and got a really good start in the heat race. I was in fourth and then got into third and was battling. I got pushed high in a turn and went to seat bounce a jump and just committed to the something I probably shouldn’t have, but it was in the heat of the moment. I got wheel-spin off the face and ended up endoing of a rhythm triple and went down on my bad shoulder. From there the night was just tough. It [the shoulder] was just really sore. I’ll have to go back and rehab a little bit, but luckily everything I got surgery on is still good, just a little muscle sore.

“I fought through the night and dug deep, but was definitely in survival mode from lap one of the main event. So we’ll see how we can do next week in Arizona.”

Team Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing will be back in action this coming Saturday, February 6 in round five at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, a new venue for the Supercross series. You can catch all the action live on Fox Sports 2 next Saturday evening starting at 9:00 pm Eastern. Baggett is slated to be in town early on Friday, Feb. 5, to meet and greet with fans at Ride Now Powersports, 8546 W Ludlow Drive Suite 100 in Peoria, Arizona from 6 - 7:00 pm.

Team Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&D, Suzuki Motor of America, Dunlop, Motorex, Showa, Renthal, Vortex, Shorai, Elf Racing Fuels, Seven, Hinson Clutch Components, RG3, Matrix, Works Connection, GET, Excel, NGK, D.I.D., Twin Air, Moto Tassinari, Roy’s Cyclery, Guts Racing Products, Mechanix Wear, Kokusan Denki, N-Style and Ogio.

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