DEBISE AND MCFADDEN CLOSE OUT 2017 ON THE PODIUM IN ALABAMA
Team Hammer closed out a remarkable 2017 AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series campaign on Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park with two final trophy-winning performances in a season in which the team racked up seven race victories and 39 podium finishes.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Valentine Debise concluded the MotoAmerica Supersport season with a solid third place after upping his pace overnight.
The Frenchman strung together eight straight podiums to finish out the season. He ranked third in the final championship tally with 268 points, with two wins and six runner-ups among his 14 podium finishes.
Debise said, "My speed was better today, but I wasn't quite as consistent. I made some mistakes and lost the leading group. So I just managed my gap back to fourth and pushed to the end to get my 14th podium of the year.
"I want to say thank you to my M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team. They were awesome all year long. It was really motivating to have those guys behind me and giving their all the entire way."
M4 medAge Suzuki's Nick McFadden upped his podium haul into the double digits on Sunday by finishing 2nd in the Superstock 600 finale (sixth in the combined Supersport/STK600 order).
Like Debise, McFadden ended up 3rd in his championship battle. He piled up 247 points with a pair of wins and four runner-ups among his 10 podium finishes.
"We had another good race," McFadden said. "We didn't get off the line the way we wanted to, and someone got between me and the leader. I worked to get by him for a few laps, but I could see that rider was pushing really hard, so I was waiting a couple more laps to make my move.
"He ended up crashing out before I could pass him. I then put my head down and tried to do my best to catch back up to the leader, but I wasn't able to close down the gap enough. I managed the gap and brought it home in second place for a double podium this weekend. We wanted to get one more win under our belt to close out the season, but that proved just out of our reach today."
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Jake Lewis secured his place as the 2017 Superstock 1000 championship runner-up on Sunday with a fifth-place effort (eighth in the combined Superbike/STK1000 order) aboard his GSX-R1000. Lewis endured in a race that was red-flagged and restarted twice, featuring dry, soaked, and changeable conditions before it finally concluded.
Lewis scored 321 points during the season, including three wins and three seconds among his 14 podiums.
M4 Rickdiculous Racing Suzuki's Daytona Anderson DNF due to an electronics issue while he was battling inside the top 10 (top five among riders on Supersport-spec equipment). Despite this misfortune to go along with earlier injury and illness woes, Anderson finished the season ranked 10th in the MotoAmerica Supersport championship with 92 points.
Anderson earned four top fives in the season, the highlight being a runner-up ride in Utah.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's Brandon Cleland also locked up a championship top-10 with an eighth-place ride (14th overall) in the Superstock 600 finale. Cleland picked up 82 points in the season, finishing in the top 10 on nine occasions.
About Team Hammer
The 2017 season marks Team Hammer's 37th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 68 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 192 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 134 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running "Methanol Monster" GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.