Two Top Fives for Jordan Suzuki at VIR
NEWS August 20, 2009
Aaron Yates, Jordan Suzuki No. 23
After a solid showing in Friday's Superpole, during which Aaron Yates qualified fourth on the front row, the Jordan Suzuki rider was poised for strong showings in Saturday and Sunday's National Guard American Superbike feature races. The veteran rider did not disappoint.
4th PLACE, SATURDAY RACE 1 - For a majority of the 23 lap Race 1, Yates engaged in a thrilling battle with factory Yamaha's Ben Bostrom. Both riders swapped P3 multiple times throughout the race, much to the delight of the enthusiastic Virginia crowd. The battle spread out slightly as the duo hit lapped traffic late in the race with the #4 bike just barely edging out Yates at the line, placing the #23 in fourth position at the stripe.
"The Jordan Suzuki was working great today and I thought we were going to put it on the box again," said Yates. "I had a good tussle with Ben for a while there and it was anyone's position right up until the end. I was planning to have another run at him, but ran out of laps and that was that. Tomorrow we'll be back out there and looking to put the #23 back on the podium."
5th PLACE, SUNDAY RACE 2 - After a number of red flags and lengthy delays in the races leading up to American Superbike, Race 2 finally got underway late Sunday afternoon. Yates, on his GSX-R 1000, didn't get an optimal launch and found himself outside the top 10 on the opening laps. The Georgia rider's "never say die" attitude was in full display, however, and he begin clawing his way forward through the talented field. With front-running laptimes, Yates found himself inside the top five as the laps wound in Race 2, for a final finishing position of fifth.
"It really came down to not getting the start I needed," said Yates. "We made some changes to the clutch before the race and it was a bit tricky on the launch. The bike was real good again today and my crew gave me a machine capable of a top position, so I offer my thanks to them. We're heading to New Jersey next weekend, which is a new track and that should make things interesting. I'm looking forward to it."
Yates remains in seventh place in the Championship with 248 points.
Geoff May, National Guard Jordan Suzuki No. 54
Geoff May and the #54 National Guard Jordan Suzuki team had a trying weekend at VIR, with May enduring a rare non-points scoring weekend. The team is now regrouping for one final assault on the National Guard American Superbike class at Round 11 in New Jersey, where the team had an encouraging test earlier in the season.
DNF, SATURDAY RACE 1 - May experienced an early exit from Race 1 at VIR while challenging for a podium position in the opening laps of the 23 lap contest. Losing the front entering the tricky "rollercoaster" portion of the 2.25 mile track, May went lowside and effectively ended his day.
"I was just going for it," said May. "The bike felt good and I saw an opportunity to put the National Guard Jordan Suzuki into third and tried to make it happen. Unfortunately, I pushed the front just a bit too hard and lost it. It's disappointing, as I felt good, the bike felt good and a podium finish was totally possible. We'll be back out there for Race 2 and going for it once more."
DNF PLACE, SUNDAY RACE 2 - Sunday's Race 2 saw May forced to retire within the first few laps due to unsafe riding conditions. May holds on to eighth position in the Championship with 212 points.
"I'm not sure what happened out there," said May. "It would lose the front three or four times a lap, which caused me to run off a couple times. We had to rebuild the entire bike last night and the guys worked hard into the night, as it was pretty banged up from Saturday's lowside. Something must have gotten knocked out of whack in the front, though, as I just wasn't able to push it at any speed during the race. I was forced to bring it in early, which was tough for me to do, but it was that or cause a potential unsafe situation for myself and my fellow competitors. I want to say thanks to my guys, the fans and my sponsors. I am going to give it my all for the final
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