photo: Simon Cudby
photo: Simon Cudby
But Steel City marked another triple: Sunday was the third consecutive race in a row that both classes were won by Makita Suzuki teammates, as Broc Hepler, who grew up and lives within an hour of the Steel City track, took his third consecutive win in the 250F class (and kept Monster Energy’s own Ryan Villopoto from getting a big bonus check there).
That’s quite a feat in such a competitive class, especially since Hepler missed the first three races of the series with a foot injury. But Hepler’s feat has us thinking: Has a Suzuki rider in the “support” class ever won three races in a row before?
Travis Pastrana won four in a row in 2000 photo: Tony Scavo
Travis Pastrana won four in a row in 2000
photo: Tony Scavo
We have to dig a little deeper in the record books to find the next rider. In 1991, Team Suzuki’s Guy Cooper reeled off wins in the final three races of the season, but still came up 16 points short to Kawasaki’s Mike Kiedrowski for the championship.
And about a decade before that, Mark “The Bomber” Barnett had three years in a row where he won three consecutive races each season. In 1979 he won the last three races, but Broc Glover won four and the title. In 1980 Barnett won the last three races again, and this time he took the title over Glover. And in ’81, out of the eight-race season, Mark Barnett won the first seven! Unfortunately, he cracked a collarbone before the last round at Carlsbad and lost his chance at a perfect series.
So that’s the “Lites” class. But with RC winning all three races in the big class, we decided to dip into the record book one more time and figure out the last time Suzuki has swept both classes three straight times.
So while Suzuki has had three-race win streaks in both classes before, this is the first time they’ve ever done it at the same races.