Justin Hill shows veteran experience on the Suzuki RM-Z450; teammate Justin Bogle scores another holeshot in the 450 class.
Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team ventured to the world-renowned RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan for roun seven of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. Justin Hill showed grit and determination in scoring a fourth-place finish in the second moto on the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450 – this coming one weekend after going to the hospital to receive stitches in his arm. Teammate Weston Peick brilliantly worked through the pack to continue his streak of top-ten finishes this summer. Justin Bogle was quickest to the first turn yet again, and he’s figuring out the race pace in only his second race back from a broken upper arm. In the 250 class, Jimmy Decotis had very good speed on his Suzuki RM-Z250. Unfortunately, his day was undone by bad luck.
Justin Hill is enjoying himself in the 450 class. Riding the all-new Suzuki RM-Z450, Hill is taking advantage of the opportunity to race the 450 class this summer before he steps up full-time in 2019. Hill worked forward after a mid-pack start in the first moto to tenth place. He was quick off the gate in the second moto, starting inside the top-five and running smooth, consistent laps. Justin matched his career-best 450 moto finish with a fourth place. The 10-4 moto scores earned him sixth overall, and is now 11th in the overall points standings.
Seven races through the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship and Weston Peick has yet to finish outside the top ten overall. Peick put his head down and charged forward in both motos. His 8-11 moto scores were good enough for ninth place. “The Viking” is sixth in the 450 class points tally.
Justin Bogle has put his Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450 to the front of the pack in three of the last four motos. The Cushing, Oklahoma native’s starts have been excellent. After taking extensive time off from racing due to a broken upper arm, Bogle is putting the pieces of the puzzle together. He is sure to capitalize with trips to the podium in no time. A small tip-over while leading the second moto held “Captain” back, but he’s getting stronger in every moto. Bogle’s 18-20 moto scores put him 23rd for the weekend.
Jimmy Decotis has been working overtime in order to return to being a podium finisher after missing many months from a back injury. These things take time, but that’s not stopping “The Rippa” from going for broke on his Suzuki RM-Z250. Unfortunately, Decotis made several mistakes in both motos that kept him from reaching his goal. He ended up 27th overall.
Justin Hill [450 Class, 10-4 for 6th Place] – “I only rode practice and the first moto at Southwick, and then took the entire week off from riding. Given the condition I was in with my arm, I chalked up the weekend as a win. I want to be on the podium, and I believe I can achieve that. I booked my flight for RedBud thinking that I was going to go to the signing, and that would be about it. I didn’t have feeling in my hand until Thursday. Practice didn’t go well in Michigan, because I had been off the bike for so long. Honestly, the suspension guys were the shining spot for me. Every motorcycle was getting thrashed on the bumps, but we made good changes all day. Johnny Oler and Ryo Okuda listened to what I had to say, and they made the necessary changes [to the suspension]. I was stoked to have them there to help.”
“The signing at Zeigler Motorsports in Kalamazoo, Michigan, was totally different. I think we should do more interactive things with the fans like they did at Zeigler Motorsports. There were several representatives from Autotrader, which was cool. It was great to see our sponsors, which doesn’t happen often, because we’re grinding for most of the year. It was a very entertaining and fun event.”
Weston Peick [450 Class, 8-11 for 9th Place] – “We did some testing during the week and thought we were in a better spot. Then I got to RedBud and the track was extremely rough. I had a different thought on changing the suspension, and I personally went the wrong way for the first moto. We switched back to where we were in the beginning of the day for moto two. I’ll focus fine tuning the suspension during the off weekend. Other than that, I was under the weather after Southwick. I walked out of RedBud with finishes that I’m not happy with. I will regroup, get some more seat time in, and come to Millville ready to battle.”
Justin Bogle [450 Class, 18-20 for 23rd Place] – “My day was basically the same as at Southwick. I struggled. At least I can still get starts. Had one good start, but struggled through the motos. I felt better going into the second moto, but I fell on the first lap while in the front. I thought it would have been better. I worked my way back up. It was not ideal, but we’re making progress.”
Jimmy Decotis [250 Class, 27-24 for 27th Place] – “I had a couple of bad starts and crashes. It’s hard to move forward when you’re constantly on the ground. Aside from that, the track was good. I heard they got rain on Wednesday, and watered it a lot on Friday. The track was very demanding. Southwick was hard, but RedBud was close to it. Overall, it was a fun track. Lines developed as the second moto came around. The fans were insane, as always. It was super cool, because they were cheering for every rider. I think RedBud will be a really cool event when the Motocross of Nations comes around.”
Jeremy Albrecht [Team Manager] – "Like Southwick, RedBud was another one of those challenging tracks. They ripped it deep, which formed a ton of challenging ruts. The guys were night and day different between the first and second moto. Justin Bogle nailed the holeshot, which is a testament to how fast the RM-Z450 is. He had a bobble right before LaRocco's Leap, which set him back. Still, he's improving. Justin Hill dug deep and matched his best 450 moto, and that came after not knowing whether he was going to be able to race. Weston scored another top ten, but his setup was off. That held him back, but I expect him to return to the top five at Millville."
"Our 250 rider, Jimmy Decotis, has the speed and stamina. Unfortunately, he had a bad crash in the first moto. He was better in the second moto, but stalled the bike. That took the wind out of his sails."
There will be a weekend break before the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team resumes racing at round eight of the 2018 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, held at the historic Spring Creek circuit in Millville, Minnesota on Saturday, July 21st. Please visit www.jgrmxraceteam.com for more team news.