|Press Release: Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing has signed Toni Elias to join the team for the remainder of the 2016 season. The former Moto2 World Champion created a sensation when he won his first three MotoAmerica AMA Superbike races on a Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 as a fill-in rider for the injured Jake Lewis. |
With Elias joining the team Jake Lewis will move to Team Hammer on an M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the Superstock 1000 class. Lewis is expected to return to competition at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) round. The transition became possible when Team Hammer rider/owner Chris Ulrich decided to retire from racing effective immediately. Suzuki recognized the opportunity for Lewis and began a discussion with the team.
“Suzuki Motor of America is pleased to have the resources available and the support of our M4 and Yoshimura Suzuki teams to take full advantage of this opportunity,” said Pat Alexander, Suzuki Road Race Manager. “We have a tremendous heritage with the most championships on the GSX-R and these changes will give us a great opportunity to continue achieving strong results in both the MotoAmerica Superstock and Superbike Classes.”
“We’re happy to have Toni officially join the team for the rest of the season,” added Don Sakakura, Yoshimura Suzuki Vice President. “Toni has provided a great boost and wants to stay. The logistics were made easier for everyone when we learned Team Hammer had an opening. Having Jake available to step in and provide them a proven rider is a win-win situation for both teams. Jake will continue his development as a GSX-R1000 rider with Suzuki with one of the most established teams in the paddock.”
For Elias word that he would stay with Yoshimura Suzuki for the 2016 season was welcome news.
“I’m very happy for the opportunity to continue racing with Yoshimura Suzuki,” Elias said. “I’ve gotten to be good friends with everyone on the team and we work together very well. I’m also happy for Jake to be able to continue racing with Suzuki on the Team Hammer Suzuki. Jake was so kind to help me in any way he could as I filled in for him. I look forward to seeing him back on the track.”