Brea, CA. (August 27, 2018) – Team Hammer concluded the MotoAmerica weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in mixed fashion, combining a historic win with multiple strong performances and a race that delivered stinging disappointment.
On Saturday M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Valentin Debise rode to a convincing Supersport race win aboard his GSX-R600 to earn Team Hammer’s 200th AMA Pro/MotoAmerica National podium while also claiming the team’s 70th AMA Pro/MotoAmerica National race win.
The Frenchman got off the starting grid in second place and didn’t wait long to strike. He took the lead with a nifty pass while still working the race’s opening lap. Debise controlled the race from the front from that point on and never came under serious threat of losing the lead.
“Finally!” a triumphant Debise said after the race. “Since my first win this season, I was waiting for so long to get another one. I kept my confidence and continued working hard the entire time. I changed a couple things with my riding style over the past month and today it paid off.”
In Sunday’s Supersport race, Debise was unable to repeat Saturday’s win, despite giving all that he had — and then some. Debise went wheel to wheel with his rivals, executing a number of brave and creative passes as the race took shape in its early stages, but then he crashed out spectacularly just after passing up into second position.
Debise was able to return to his feet after the terrifying, bike-destroying crash, but was then transported to a local hospital where he was treated and released. Despite the DNF, he continues to rank third in points at 150 on the strength of seven podiums and two victories.
Meanwhile, M4 medAge Suzuki’s Nick McFadden and M4 RiCK! Suzuki’s Daytona Anderson collected a pair of top-10 Supersport results on Sunday in Debise’s absence.
McFadden was in the mix for fourth before a red flag ended the race a couple laps prematurely. He was ultimately credited with seventh, less than 0.7-second behind fourth. Similarly, Anderson finished 10th despite being involved in a fight for eighth before the red flag brought the race to an early end.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000 pilot, Jake Lewis, put in a gutsy ride in Saturday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race, which featured treacherous wet-to-dry race conditions after it started to rain moments after the conclusion of the Supersport race.
Lewis charged his way forward after starting near the back of the field. In the end, he took the checkered flag in sixth after passing four riders in two late-race laps, just missing his 10th Superbike top-five result of the 2018 season.
On Sunday, Lewis delivered another stirring ride in the premier-class shootout. The former Superbike Rookie of the Year again charged his way up from 12th on the grid aboard his fire-breathing GSX-R1000 and elbowed his way into podium contention.
From there, Lewis battled with a pair of 2018 Superbike race winners as they fought over the final spot on the box. Lewis slotted up into fourth late and was looking for a way into third when the checkered flag brought the thrilling showdown to an end. The result was Lewis’ 10th top-five of the season. He currently ranks sixth in Superbike points at 166
“It was a pretty good race for us (on Sunday). Starting further back than usual made it tougher but we made some good passes and had a couple of crashes in front of us and then we were fighting for the podium again,” said Lewis. “The team worked very hard, as usual, and the bike was performing great in the race. With the rain this weekend, it left everyone looking for more grip but our bike was working well and it was up to me to make it happen for the podium. I didn’t quite get it but we got fourth and we can build on that.”
Team Hammer will be back in action in just two weeks as the 2018 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship heads to its penultimate round at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey, on September 7-9. Visit beIN SPORTS for the televised coverage schedule for the 2018 MotoAmerica race series.