Chino, CA (March 20, 2012) - Yoshimura Racing celebrated their best night of Supercross so far this year at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday night. Brett Metcalfe raced his Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 to his first-ever Supercross-class heat race victory, and then went on to bring home an impressive fourth-place result in the Supercross main event.
As the evening’s racing commenced, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Metcalfe was feeling strong and looking good. Going into his eight-lap heat race, the Australian rider did not disappoint. He came off the gate swinging and got the holeshot, then he held onto the lead to take his first heat race win.
“We came in with a different approach with bike setup this weekend,” said Metcalfe. “It was evident in my first lap of practice. I just felt so much more comfortable and could really attack the track and ride the bike. I was really stoked; the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 was running great. We got great starts and qualified the best we have all year. In the heat race, we ripped the holeshot and it felt awesome to get out there in front. I was able to hold on and get my first heat win of my 450 career, and that was a big achievement for me. This weekend in Indy was a good start for us with the new setup for the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450. I’m looking forward to carrying this on to Toronto next weekend, and I’m really stoked about that.”
Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki’s Blake Wharton gave the Rockstar Energy Racing teams their first Supercross Lites main event win of the season at Indy. Not only did Wharton capture his and the team’s first Supercross Lites victory of the season, the charismatic rider also put a halt to another racer’s winning streak in the process. En route to victory, Wharton grabbed the holeshot in his six-lap heat race and finished second before going onto the 15-lap main event and bringing home the win.
“It feels good to get the win,” said Wharton. “It’s been a while since I’ve won, but I never stopped thinking I could. I know it’s not easy to win, but at the same time, what we’re doing during the week, we’re doing to win. I happened to win tonight, but it’s so tough with the competition because everyone’s so fast. But this weekend, I won it, and I just want to go into next weekend and carry this over. Toronto should be good, I like going to Canada.”
Yoshimura-backed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton had his best night of the season, finishing second in the Supercross main event in Indy while Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia placed third to maintain his championship lead in the East Lites class.
Brayton was quick to find his groove on the track aboard his Yoshimura-equipped CRF450R, qualifying third fastest in practice and winning his heat race. In the main, he put together a solid ride from start to finish. Second off the line, Brayton made the pass for first a few laps in, which is where he would stay the majority of the race. He eventually was passed, but maintained his second place spot to the checkers – his career-best finish.
“It was a really great night for me, with a heat win, some awesome starts and now a second place finish in the main,” said Brayton. “This was my first time ever leading laps in the 450 class and now I want it more than ever. It has been a long time coming and now I feel like the trophy is right there. This is a good building block and I am ready to work this week and come out swinging in Toronto.”
In the Supercross Lites East competition, Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia rode a noteworthy race on his Yoshimura-equipped CRF250R. Despite getting a less-than-desirable start, Barcia was given a second chance to close the gap on the leaders when a red flag forced all riders into a staggered restart. Barcia worked his way from eighth place to a respectable third.
“With such a slick track, I had a feeling it was going to be a tough night,” said Barcia. “It is definitely a bummer not to keep my winning streak going but I am still happy to be on the podium. Consistency is the most important thing in the long run so I am glad to have the Yoshimura-equipped GEICO Honda on the podium regardless.”
The next stop of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship for the Yoshimura-backed teams is Saturday, March 24th, at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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