Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance athlete, Brandon Hartranft excelled in the tacky, soft soil for another strong ride with his Suzuki RM-Z450

Suzuki Racing



Team Suzuki Press Office – February 2.

Derek Drake: RM-Z250 – 12th
Brandon Hartranft: RM-Z450 – 13th
Justin Bogle: RM-Z450 – 17th

Round seven of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross series saw Suzuki riders tackle the track at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota that marked both the start of the 250 East Coast series and the return to racing of BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki’s Derek Drake, who posted a strong return performance on his Suzuki RM-Z250.

Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance athlete, Brandon Hartranft excelled in the tacky, soft soil for another strong ride with his Suzuki RM-Z450 and Twisted Tea Suzuki teammate Justin Bogle used the round to notch his Suzuki RM-Z450 up in the points standings. Adam Enticknap won more fans with his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 and BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki Supercross rookie Preston Kilroy got his taste of stadium racing aboard his Suzuki RM-Z250.

Drake finished in the top three in both sessions of his qualifying group then put in strong laps to transfer directly from his heat race into the main. Drake capped the night with a steady and strategic performance aboard his BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki RM-Z250 in the main event.

“It was my first race back and I was chasing my tail on the bike setup all day because of how soft the dirt was,” Drake said. “In the main event I rode way too cautiously, and it hurt my overall finish. But it was good to get the first one out of the way and we’re ready to go next weekend!”

Hartranft thrives on technical, challenging tracks, and the spongy Minnesota soil delivered a great racing surface. He put his fast pace to good use and moved forward through the 20-minute plus one lap main event.

He said: “I qualified 11th, which was my best qualifying position ever in the 450 class. I’m definitely getting better and showing more speed. The night went well, I got a 13th. I still feel like I have more in me. I’ve just need to work out some kinks and nail some better starts.”

At the first venue following the initial west coast swing, Bogle transferred directly into the main from his heat race. His gate pick for the main event allowed him a top five spot at the holeshot stripe. After some early-race shuffling he ticked off fast laps and battled to improve his track position.

Enticknap wasn’t able to duplicate his main event performance from the previous round and found himself shy of a transfer to the main by a single spot in the LCQ, but the fan favourite is getting fast and comfortable on his Twisted Tea Suzuki RM-Z450 race bike.

“In the LCQ I started in seventh and ended up getting fifth,” said Enticknap of his night. “After last weekend, making the main, I just need to get that one spot, which shouldn’t be very difficult especially with the team I’ve got behind me. Dallas is a Triple Crown event so for practice this week I’ll ride some more 12-minute motos in a row and practice my sprints.”

Rookie Kilroy kicked off his Supercross career at an event that saw 66 riders on the entry list. He got some stadium time under his belt, but first race jitters impeded his chance to show off his capabilities on the tight track.

Said Kilroy: “My first round of Supercross was an experience. I felt good in free practice and was excited for qualifying, but I got caught up in everybody else’s chaos. Unfortunately, I had a small crash and hurt my leg and wasn’t able to finish session one. In the second session there were people down and flags out everywhere. I was only able to get in two somewhat clean laps. It was very different than what I’m used to. The new experience of racing in a stadium was definitely a challenge, but I’m excited to keep learning and gaining Supercross racing experience.”

“The team managed Minneapolis well. It’s not always easy having to deal with such extreme weather conditions and having to pit in a different location than normal,” Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance Team Manager Dustin Pipes stated, referring to the sub-freezing weather that pushed the working pits into the stadium’s interior concourse. “Brandon continues to improve, qualifying in 11th, which is a season best for him. The main event was filled with what-ifs. He should have been battling for a top 10, but some racing errors relegated him to 13th. Justin is still searching and continuing to build his fitness finishing in 17th. We have some different parts for him to try during the week and hopefully we’ll find the right formula.”

The series moves south to Arlington, Texas, for the second Triple Crown event of the year. The 450 athletes will compete in round eight and the 250 East team will race round two of its regional championship.

Minneapolis Image Gallery (BrownDogWilson): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Championship points (round by round): CLICK HERE

For more stories about Justin Bogle, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Adam Enticknap, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Brandon Hartranft, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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