The Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki team returned to action this weekend on the team’s Dunlop equipped Suzuki GSX-R 600s at the Big Kahuna Atlanta at Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA with the first practice sessions and Provisional Qualifying being held Friday and Final Qualifying and the first of the doubleheader races being held on Saturday.
In the SuperSport class Jake Lewis ran at the front during their first practice session staying within the top 6 and ending up 3rd. During Provisional Qualifying later at the end of Friday afternoon Jake was again up front in the top 3 and pulled out a last lap effort using a new Dunlop D211GPA rear tire of 1:30.681 which was good for 2nd place. With nobody able to go faster during Final Qualifying on Saturday morning Jake has a starting position on the front row in P2 for the SuperSport races.
In SuperSport race 1 Jake got away at the start and ran at the front for the entire race dicing for the lead and crossing the stripe in front for the majority of the 16-lap event. On the last lap Jake was held up just slightly by a lapped rider, losing touch and the draft, bringing home a podium finish with a strong 2nd place finish over 20 seconds clear from 3rd place. Jake now sits tied for 2nd place in the SuperSport East standings with the help of the bonus point for leading the most laps today and is only 2 points out of the championship lead.
Jake Lewis – Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki #85
“Today’s race was really good for me and the whole Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki team! Finishing second is not where I would have liked, but I’ll take a podium anyway. I felt like I ran a strong race and didn’t make any mistakes, which was good. The crew and I will make changes tonight and try for the win tomorrow”
In the Daytona SportBike class during the first practice session Cory West ran up front and stayed in the top 5 for the entire session while teammate Benny Solis was just outside of the top 10. In Provisional Qualifying later in the afternoon Cory was 6th with Benny 12th. In Saturday mornings Final Qualifying both Benny and Cory were able to improve upon their times using fresh Dunlop D211GPA tires with Benny jumping to 6th place while Cory slid one spot to 7th despite his quicker lap time. The teammates will line up alongside each other in the middle of the second row for both GoPro Daytona SportBike races this weekend.
In the first Daytona SportBike race of the weekend both Benny and Cory started in the top 5 with Benny running second for the first half of the race. Both riders were able to stay near the front until the next to last lap when Benny suffered misfortune with a crash. Cory finished the race with a top 5 result in 5th place. Cory is now 7th in the Daytona SportBike season point standings.
Cory West – Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki #57
“I got a good start and found myself in fourth early in the race. The pace wasn’t too bad at the beginning but I could feel that I was bottoming the forks out under hard braking. I fell back some positions but was gifted them back after a few riders crashed and brought it home in 5th. I’m happy about scoring a top five but I know we can run the pace if we get the bike working a little better tomorrow. Big thanks to my crew chief Tony, mechanic Sean, and an awesome engine built by Mark Junge”
Benny Solis – Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki #35
“”After having a tough 1st qualifying, we found a new and better setting for 2nd qualifying which put us in P6. Second row was great for me, I started out doing well in the race but unfortunately when we dropped the pace to some faster laps, and the front suspension wasn’t working like I needed it to. So I was struggling with the bike and I felt a little out of control trying to run a fast pace with so much chatter. I was trying everything I could to make it work but it was quite difficult for me. I ended up crashing out of 3rd but we now know we can run up front. Now we need to get the front end handling like we need it and we should do much better tomorrow”
Riders Discount Vesrah Suzuki would like to thank their sponsors for the 2012 season: Vesrah, Riders Discount, MCJ Motorsports, American Suzuki, Nielsen Enterprises Suzuki, Parts Unlimited, Penske Racing Shocks, Traxxion Dynamics Fork Components, Yoshimura, Catalyst Racing Composites, Shoei, Cortech, Sidi, Held, Motion Pro, Sudco Int., Bazzaz, Factory Pro, Maxima Racing Oils, Adjustable-levers, Vicci, Vortex, DID Chain, Zero Gravity, GPR Stabilizers, Trek Bicycles, Suzuka Tire Warmers, K&N Filters, Full Spectrum Batteries, Redbull (Benny), Oakley (Benny & Jake), Roclun (Jake), Progressive Trail Design (Cory), 509 sunglasses (Cory and team), Andrew Swenson Designs and Drippinwet.