“Focus” On Team Hammer
M4 ECSTAR SUZUKI’S BOBBY FONG WINS INDY SUPERBIKE
Team Hammer added to its long history on Saturday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, winning another MotoAmerica Superbike race as well as a second-consecutive MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong earned his second premier-class victory following a wild, twice red-flagged and restarted main event.
Starting from the outside of Row 1 with teammate Toni Elias holding pole position, Fong stormed into the lead at the start. After being displaced to second, Fong was all over the race leader when the first red flag flew while working the race’s third lap.
On lap 2, Fong dove past Elias to take the lead and was pulling clear at the front when the race’s second red flag was shown.
Following the second restart, Fong quickly worked his way up into second and pressured the early leader, who then crashed. Fong led until six laps remained in the 15-lap race before again being dropped back to second, but he immediately counter-attacked and forced the new leader into a critical mistake.
From there, Fong fended off a third challenger and won the drag race to the checkered flag by 0.228-second.
“It was hairy at the end with all the heat cycles on the tires,” Fong said. “With all the warm-up laps and everything, it felt like we did like 30 laps on those tires. But we managed and the bike ran great. I have a rock solid crew behind me. We’ll continue the hard work tomorrow and look to finish the weekend strong.”
French Canadian Dumas returned to action after breaking his left arm just above the elbow a month and a half ago at Ridge Motorsports Park. The M4 ECSTAR Suzuki pilot showed little signs of rust, battling his way forward in the Stock 1000 race on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 from seventh to take control of third by lap 3.
There he would remain until the race’s final several meters, as he was drafted on the long front straight and displaced to fourth at the checkered flag by a scant 0.043-second. Dumas later returned to the track at the end of the day to take eighth place in the MotoAmerica Superbike race on his Stock 1000 spec GSX-R1000.
MotoAmerica Supersport star Sean Dylan Kelly saw a potential win evaporate when he crashed from the lead while attempting to pull clear of the pack on lap 3. The Floridian blasted to the holeshot from pole aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki and put his head down in hopes of keeping his championship hopes alive. Desperate for a win, Kelly pushed to the maximum but unfortunately paid the price for his calculated risk.
With ‘SDK’ out of commission, it was up to M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Lucas Silva to uphold the team’s Supersport honors and he did. Silva charged up from an early seventh place and joined a heated battle for second position. Following an outside pass into third with three laps to go, Silva won a braking duel into Turn 1 on the race’s penultimate lap to take control of second.
Unfortunately, he was pushed wide by a rival’s aggressive last-lap passing attempt. That dropped Silva from second to fourth at the checkered flag, just 0.316-second short of a runner-up result. The result was Silva’s second best of a season in which he’s finished inside the top 10 in every race. The MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing weekend at IMS will conclude on Sunday.