Press Release –
Team Suzuki/Yoshimura ATV started the season with a mixed result today. Perennial crowd favorite and ATV racing legend “Digger” Doug Gust put the all-new Suzuki QuadRacer LT-R450 on the box with a 3rd place finish. Teammate Jeremiah Jones suffered bad luck though and was forced to take a back seat.
In the first race of the day both Jeremiah and Doug gated well and were running at the front of the pack. Going into a packed corner, virtually all of the leaders came together causing a large melee. Another rider drilled Jones right in the rear axle/swingarm area. Jeremiah and several other riders ended up on the ground and scrambling for their machines.
Jones ended up climbing back on and up to an eventual 14th place finish for moto-one while Gust finished 4th. In between motos the bikes were gone over and prepped for moto-two. But what no one noticed was that the impact on Jeremiahs Quad had been so severe, it had bent his swingarm.
Moto-two saw Gust get a good start and start the moto in 3rd. Jeremiah meantime was further back having been pinched coming off the gate. Jeremiah was on a mission and started climbing through the pack.
Just past the halfway point he was up to second place and starting to close in on the leaders when the rear suspension broke on his quad. The bent swingarm had created a bind that after half the moto finally let loose. A dejected Jones limped back to the pits.
It took the crew the better part of two hours and a lot of measuring to finally figure out what happened. Although imperceptible to the naked eye, when the bike was placed on a chassis jog, the swingarm was indeed bent to the side by almost an inch!
When asked what could be done to prevent a future occurrence of this happening again, team manager Wayne Hinson said. “Nothing really, it’s just one of those racing deals. It takes about an hour to jig the frame up and get the measurements.
There isn’t enough time in between races to do it. There’s no way to prevent it either, you get a 400 pound quad wide open in 4th gear hitting your swingarm and there’s nothing on God’s green earth is going to keep it from getting bent!”
On balance Wayne was happy with the outcome of the race. “I found out that we are very competitive today.
We had some bad luck, but this new bike is really fast. I think we are going to win a lot of races this year and be in serious contention for the title.
I’ve never brought a brand new quad to a race and been this dialed in so quickly. The LT-R450 is unreal.”
Gust was philosophical after the event, “I had trouble getting my head into the race today,” the Wisconsin native said, “I didn’t really feel 100% for some reason so I tried to ride smart. It paid off in the end. I’ll go into Texas with good points and we’ll whip ’em out there hopefully.”
Watch for the Jones and Gust show to put their LT-R’s up front in Texas as the series hits round two.
Joe Byrd ended up winning the race. The Yoshimura supported rider went 2-1 for the win.
1. Hon. Joe Byrd; Union City, TN
2. Hon. John Natalie; Houtzdale, PA
3. Suz. Doug Gust; Salem, WI
4. Hon. Keith Little; Russellville, AL
5. Hon. Joe Haavisto; New Ipsmith, NH
6. Hon. Travis Cain; Mckinleyville, CA
7. Yam. Jason Luburgh; Zanesville, OH
8. Yam. Jason Dunkleberger; Trevorton, PA
9. Hon. Chad Wienen; Galena, IL
10. Hon. Jeremy Lawson; Battlelewn, KY
16. Suz. Jeremiah Jones; Bowling Green, KY