Elias Leaves MotoAmerica Season Opener with Victory and Series Lead

Toni Elias (#24) celebrates his victory in Atlanta - Road Atlanta

Exciting Weekend for Yoshimura Suzuki at Suzuki Championship

BREA, CA – April 8, 2018 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –  Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias had a thrilling opening to the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at the Suzuki Championship at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. It included a victory and ultimately the series lead for the 2017 series champ.

Elias (#24) and Josh Herrin (#2) leads the pack for the Yoshimura Suzuki team

Elias (#24) and Josh Herrin (#2) leads the pack for the Yoshimura Suzuki team.

Elias made a miraculous save aboard his Suzuki GSX-R1000 in Saturday’s race when he ran off into a gravel trap and charged out flat-track style, rear wheel spinning and gravel flying to come back and salvage second. Elias then came back on Sunday and turned in a strong ride to earn a solid 1.839-second margin of victory. The win, his 26th in MotoAmerica, gives him the series lead going into next week’s combined MotoGP/MotoAmerica weekend at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Josh Herrin (#2) kicks-off his Yoshimura Suzuki debut in Atlanta.

Josh Herrin (#2) kicks-off his Yoshimura Suzuki debut in Atlanta.

Josh Herrin made his racing debut with Yoshimura Suzuki at the Suzuki Championships. He endured a tough crash on Saturday, but rallied to finish a solid fifth in Sunday’s race.

This is the fourth season in a row that Elias leaves the opening weekend atop the standings.

“It was a great win for the team today,” Elias said after Sunday’s race. “I was lucky to make it through yesterday with the run off the track, but we came back and took an important victory and it feels good to have the championship lead. Of course this is a long season and there are many talented riders, so we will have to continue like this to try to win back this championship.”

Elias (#24) held on to his lead despite flying into a gravel trap while leading- Road Atlanta

Elias (#24) held on to his lead despite flying into a gravel trap while leading.

Videos and photos of Elias’ save in Saturday’s race lit up social media with massive praise for his ability to keep his bike upright after flying into a gravel trap at high speed with four laps to go.

He used his ample flat track and motocross experience to not only get back in the race, but come back strong to finish second.

“I nearly lost everything in the gravel,” Elias grinned. “I lost the chance to win, but it could be worse. In two laps I came back from fourth position to the second, so amazing.”

Herrin came away from Road Atlanta with a growing base of knowledge racing the Suzuki for the first time.

“It was kind of tough going through a couple of crashes this weekend,” Herrin explained. “But I came away with a fifth today and my head held high knowing that I’ve learned a lot and we’ll take that knowledge into COTA next week and shoot for better results.”

Next weekend the series moves to the beautiful Circuit of the Americas for the biggest motorcycle road racing weekend of the year, when MotoAmerica shares the international stage with MotoGP.

If you can’t attend in person, the races are broadcast nationally on Fox Sports 2.

For team media guide click here.

For additional information visit: www.motoamerica.com

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

About Suzuki:

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors and Automotive Parts and Accessories via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com

Press Contact:
Rachel Anderson
Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. Lead, Press Relations and Marketing
(714) 996-7040 x2009

About Yoshimura R&D of America:

Yoshimura is “The Leader in Performance” and has been for more than 65 years. With unmatched skills, knowledge, and passion for racing, Yoshimura is on the forefront of the aftermarket exhaust industry. Yoshimura pipes are race bred and feature the same legendary performance, fit and quality that has been their trademark for more than six decades. To learn more about Yoshimura and view their wide variety of performance products, visit www.yoshimura-rd.com.

Press Contacts:
Erick “Big E” Bartoldus
Yoshimura R&D of America, Inc. Marketing Manager
(909) 628-4722 x400

Larry Lawrence
Lawrence Media (for Yoshimura R&D of America)
(317) 852-6390

Source: Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.

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