Chino, CA (March 26, 2012) – Yoshimura-backed teams grabbed a win and several podium finishes at the 12th round of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship at Rogers Centre in Toronto, ON, on Saturday night. The Honda Racing, Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki, and Yoshimura Suzuki Supercross teams used the performance advantage of their Yoshimura products to score strong results in Canada.
The Yoshimura-backed Honda riders were quite successful in finding the podium in Toronto. Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda’s Justin Barcia had another solid ride aboard his CRF250R, scoring his fifth win in the Supercross Lites East competition. Yoshimura-backed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton finished second, scoring his third podium of the season aboard his CRF450R and Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda’s Kevin Windham had his second podium appearance of the season, placing third.
In the Supercross Lites East competition, Barcia returned to the top of the podium on his Yoshimura-equipped CRF250R with an impressive race from start to finish, scoring his fifth win of the season.
“It is great to get another win here in Toronto,” said Barcia. “I got my first Supercross win here a few years ago, so this is really special to me. It was a great night for me, and the Yoshimura-equipped GEICO Honda was running great. After grabbing the holeshot and getting back around Roczen I was able to breathe, ride my own race and check out.”
For a second week in a row Yoshimura-backed Team Honda Muscle Milk’s Justin Brayton put together an impressive ride. He set the tone for the day after laying down the fastest qualifying time in practice and placing second in his heat race. During the main, Brayton grabbed the holeshot and led the pack for the first few laps of the race. Wil Hahn joined the team at Toronto, riding the Yoshimura-equipped factory CRF450R during the Lites West championship break, and finished a solid 10th.
“I am really happy to be back up here on the podium for a second week in a row,” said Brayton. “Being able to get the holeshot and lead for a few laps is a big confidence builder for me. I really want a win, and I know that I can run up front now. Now that I have been able to start riding a little more during the week it is really starting to come together.”
Yoshimura-backed GEICO Honda’s Windham got away to a mid-pack start in the main and was able to work his way up to third. “It was a long week of therapy for me after my crash last weekend, but I was able to dig deep and get the Yoshimura-equipped GEICO Honda up on the podium,” said Windham. “The track was really tough and my main focus was staying consistent and keeping the bike straight through the whoops.”
Also in Supercross, Yoshimura Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe notched a solid fourth-place result in his heat race and was running seventh in the main when he went down in the whoops. With just a few laps left in the race, the Australian struggled to get back into the fray but had difficulty restarting his bike. He eventually finished 18th.
The Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki team gave it their all, and then some, in Toronto. The Canadian round marked the series’ only international stop and the Rockstar Energy Racing team announced their presence with authority by picking up a podium finish in Supercross Lites.
Coming off his first Supercross Lites win since 2009 at last week’s Indy race, Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing’s Blake Wharton was on fire at Toronto. The feisty, young rider held nothing back, finishing second in his six-lap heat race and then putting in an aggressive ride to take the final podium position in the 15-lap main event. Rockstar Energy Racing teammate Hunter Hewitt sat out the Toronto Supercross after injuring his knee earlier in the week. Hewitt will have the injury treated this week and hopes to race next weekend in Texas.
“Tonight was a great race,” said Wharton. “The track was very technical, with ruts yet hard-packed, and I felt like I made the most of it. Yes, I would’ve liked to win, especially after winning last weekend, and I want to get back on top at Houston. I was born there and I’ve spent a lot of time there, and my first Supercross was in Houston. At the same time, it’s another race and I need to work on some stuff because I wasn’t on top tonight. It’s unfortunate, but it’ll make it that much better when I get back on top.”
The next stop of the 2012 AMA/FIM Supercross Championship for the Yoshimura-backed teams is Saturday, March 31st, at Reliant Stadium in Houston, TX. You can meet the Yoshimura-backed Rockstar Energy Racing Suzuki and Yoshimura Suzuki riders on Friday, March 30th from 6 to 7 PM, at County Line North, 9650 North Freeway (I-45), Houston, TX 77037.
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