HomeNews / Race ResultsHayabusa Marks Its Record-Breaking Ninth Consecutive NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Victory

Hayabusa Marks Its Record-Breaking Ninth Consecutive NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Victory

Suzuki Motorcycles

GAIGE HERRERA SETS NHRA PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE WIN-STREAK RECORD AT BRISTOL

Hayabusa Marks Its Record-Breaking Ninth Consecutive NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Victory

Gaige Herrera extended his perfect season in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle with a fourth-straight victory in 2024. With the win, Herrera set a new record for consecutive wins for the Pro Stock Motorcycle class, and tied two all-time NHRA records for a consecutive race win streak, and for 35 consecutive round wins. All earned on Herrera’s RevZilla/Motul/ Vance & Hines Suzuki Gen 3 Hayabusa at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, TN, on Sunday.

Gaige Herrera

Race Highlights

  • Gaige Herrera rebounded from his lowest qualifying position of the year to win his fourth-straight race this season and tied the all-time NHRA records of nine consecutive race victories and 35 consecutive round wins.
  • Richard Gadson qualified second and advanced to the semi-final round of eliminations.
Gaige Herrera
Gaige Herrera (1) won his ninth Pro Stock Motorcycle race in a row and has won 35 consecutive rounds.

After snapping a streak of 11-straight races as number one qualifier three weeks ago in Chicago, Herrera qualified fourth at Bristol with a 6.830-second/197.77mph run on Saturday, his lowest starting position since last season.

Herrera defeated Steve Johnson (6.922 seconds/192.82mph) in round one with a 6.813-second/197.91mph run. In round two, he ran 6.829 seconds at 197.31mph to defeat John Hall (6.866 seconds/197.45mph), setting up a critical matchup against top qualifier Matt Smith in the semi-final round. Herrera won that round on a clutch holeshot, narrowly defeating Smith (6.824 seconds/198.82mph) with a 6.825-second/198.12mph pass to advance to his fourth-straight final-round appearance of the season.

In the final round, Herrera ran 6.818 seconds at 198.17mph to defeat Jianna Evaristo (6.861 seconds/197.94mph) and win his fourth-straight race of the season, and ninth in a row dating back to last season. Herrera now has 15 career Pro Stock Motorcycle wins in 16 final-round appearances, all with a Vance & Hines Suzuki Hayabusa.

Herrera’s nine straight wins also tie the all-time NHRA record for consecutive victories in any professional class, a mark he now shares with legendary Pro Stock car racer Bob Glidden. Herrera also tied Glidden’s long-standing NHRA record of 35 consecutive round wins, which Glidden set in 1979 during a run in which he was virtually unbeatable in the Pro Stock class. Herrera has a chance to break that record with a win in the first round of eliminations at the Virginia NHRA Nationals in two weeks.

The victory also erased the memory of Herrera’s final-round loss a year ago at Bristol, the only occasion in his record-setting career where he failed to hoist the winner’s trophy after advancing to the final round.

“I wasn’t focused on records when I came to this race. I always focus on the race at hand. That was something Andrew Hines told me at the beginning. You’ve got to focus on the moment and the rest will come to you. That advice has helped me a lot,” Herrera said. “Seeing Matt Smith run a tenth quicker than me in qualifying really lit a fire under me. I knew I had to put my head down for the rest of the weekend and focus on what I needed to do as a rider. I knew Andrew would have my back tuning my Hayabusa, and there’s never a doubt in my mind that I will have a motorcycle that can win on Sunday. The semi-final against Matt felt like winning the championship all over again. I was so excited. That was the big highlight of the race for me. To get the holeshot win, it’s like a pat on the back to myself as a rider. I did my job, Andrew did his job, and it all paid off.”

 

Gaige Herrera
Richard Gadson (23) set his career-best qualifying performance, and made the semi-finals at Bristol.

Vance & Hines teammate Richard Gadson (23) produced the best qualifying performance of his season and career so far with a 6.825-second/197.74mph run on Saturday that put him in the second starting position on the eliminations ladder.

In round one, Gadson defeated Kelly Clontz (8.130 seconds/119.97mph) with a 6.860-second/196.96mph run. In round two, Gadson defeated Hector Arana, Jr. on a holeshot, posting a 6.876-second/195.87mph run against Arana’s slightly quicker 6.874-second/197.68mph run. Gadson narrowly missed advancing out of the semi-final round with a 6.916-second/194.80mph loss to Jianna Evaristo (6.898 seconds/196.50mph).

“It was a good weekend for me. I let go of some things I was trying too hard to do and started riding my Hayabusa with the ability I know I have. (Crew chief) Eddie Krawiec found some things in the tune-up, and we had a great performing bike,” Gadson said. “But I didn’t do a great job with my reaction time in the semi-finals against Jianna. I told myself to play it safe and that was a mistake. I’m still learning and trying to get every way to lose out of my mind and make room for the wins that I know will come.”

RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki crew chief Andrew Hines reflected on the historic achievement of Herrera’s victory, while noting that it came at a track where the team expected to struggle.

“This was a race I was worried about with the streak we were on. We’re at some altitude here, the track is uphill, and the Hayabusa is the heaviest in the class. Everything was kind of stacked against us, but we were able to find the performance we needed on Sunday,” Hines said. “Gaige’s round win against Matt Smith was six previous runs in the making. We came up short against him in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge on Saturday, but that was a run we were willing to sacrifice to learn some things for later in the weekend. We were playing the long game trying to figure out what Gaige’s Hayabusa would want on race day. It’s incredibly special to be a part of NHRA history. It shows the preparation we bring to these Suzuki motorcycles for every race. We’re confident in our ability to go forward from here to Virginia for what may be another historic event.”

After the fourth of 15 races in the 2024 season, Herrera and Gadson sit first and third in the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship standings with 493 and 266 points, respectively.

The RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki team returns to action June 21-23 at the Virginia NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in North Dinwiddie, VA.

For the latest Suzuki team news, race reports, and information visit SuzukiCycles.com/Racing/Drag-Racing.

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