HomeNews / Race ResultsThe Hayabusa Continues To Dominate Pro Stock Motorcycle

The Hayabusa Continues To Dominate Pro Stock Motorcycle

The Suzuki Hayabusa Continues To Dominate

GAIGE HERRERA WINS ROUTE 66 NHRA NATIONALS, TIES NHRA PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE WIN-STREAK RECORD

Gaige Herrera (1) remains perfect this season after winning his third race of the year, and tying the NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle class record with eight consecutive wins on his RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki Hayabusa at the Gerber Collision and Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, IL, on Sunday.

Race Highlights:

  • Gaige Herrera qualified second, won the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, and tied a new NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle win-streak record with his third victory of the 2024 season and eighth in a row dating to last year.
  • Richard Gadson qualified sixth and advanced to the second round of eliminations.
Gaige Herrera (1) extends his command over NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing, tying the class’s consecutive win-streak mark in Chicago.
Gaige Herrera extends his command over NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle drag racing, tying the class’s consecutive win-streak mark in Chicago.

Herrera qualified in second position on the elimination ladder with a 6.733-second/201.16mph run, breaking an 11-race number-one qualifier streak dating to last year. On Saturday, for the second event in a row, he won the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, a race within a race contested during qualifications in which semi-finalists from the previous race compete head-to-head for a cash purse and championship bonus points.

Herrera advanced out of the first round of eliminations with a 6.694-second/200.47mph run, the low elapsed time of the weekend, against Wesley Wells 7.429 seconds/173.32mph. In round two, Herrera ran 6.715 seconds at 200.17mph to defeat John Hall 6.832 seconds/197.39mph. Herrera posted a 6.720-second/200.53mph victory in his semi-final round matchup against LE Tonglet 6.755 seconds/198.73mph to advance to his third final round appearance of the season and 15th of his career.

In the finals, Herrera defeated first-time finalist Chase Van Sant 6.797 seconds/197.54mph with a 6.713-second/200.68mph run to remain undefeated this season. In doing so, Herrera matched the Pro Stock Motorcycle class record with eight consecutive wins dating back to his 2023 championship season, a record he now shares with the late six-time class champion, Dave Schultz.

“Winning eight races in a row is unbelievable. To tie a legend like Dave Schultz is a big deal. It’s surreal and I feel honored to have my name right there next to his,” Herrera said.

“I was really excited to race here. When we ran the 6.69 off the trailer in the first round, that showed how awesome a job Andrew Hines is doing to tune the Hayabusa with this new fuel. I feel we’re getting back to the level the team was on before. The whole class is getting tighter, and some of the others have put a lot of work in and it’s showing. That makes me excited for the rest of the season because I’m an extremely competitive person and it motivates me. I am looking forward to Bristol, the track wasn’t kind to me last year, but I really like the facility and atmosphere there. I have a fast Suzuki, and I think it’s going to be great.”

Vance & Hines’ Suzuki rider Richard Gadson qualified sixth in Chicago and was runner-up to Herrera in the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge at the Route 66 Nationals.
Vance & Hines’ Suzuki rider Richard Gadson qualified sixth in Chicago and was runner-up to Herrera in the #2Fast2Tasty Challenge at the Route 66 Nationals.

During Saturday’s qualification rounds, Richard Gadson (23) qualified sixth with a 6.795-second/200.00mph pass and was runner up in the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge.

In the first round of eliminations Gadson defeated Chris Bostick 6.918 seconds/193.52mph with a 6.753-second/199.58 mph pass, Gadson’s quickest run of the event. However problems struck in round two when Gadson was unable to complete a pass against LE Tonglet after he shut down on the starting line following the burnout, bringing his race to an early conclusion.

“The trouble today was with the rider. You don’t leave the starting line when you don’t throw the clutch lever properly,” Gadson admitted ruefully. “For whatever reason, I changed my staging process, so that one’s on me. I had a Suzuki that would have raced more rounds and potentially won. I cost us this one. It’s uncharacteristic of me to make a mistake like that, but it’ll be the last time it happens. I’m looking ahead now to Bristol, which is a challenging track to race on, but I know I have the team behind me that will get us down it.”

RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki crew chief Andrew Hines said traction challenges with the racing surface at Route 66 Raceway combined with recent changes to the class’s spec fuel made it harder to extract the maximum performance from the team’s Hayabusa race bikes.

“It might look easy from the outside, but it’s been a struggle inside our trailer. It’s getting more and more stressful every time we roll it up there, wondering when it’s finally going to come to an end. I thought today might have been the day, but we turned it around, and had Gaige’s’ Hayabusa back into its normal form, so maybe we’re not as far off as we thought,” Hines said. “We’re on a string of success that nobody has achieved for the last two decades since Dave Schultz did it back when there was a different level of parity in the class. Gaige has taken his riding to another level, by being able to push on the tree when he feels like he needs to, and we’ve got a package with the Suzuki Hayabusa that’s proven to be fast and reliable to propel him there. It takes a lot of effort by the team at Vance & Hines Motorsports to make sure the bullet is fully loaded every time we go racing.”

After the third of 15 races in the 2024 NHRA season, Herrera and Gadson sit first and sixth in the Pro Stock Motorcycle championship standings with 375 and 184 points, respectively.

The RevZilla/Motul/Vance & Hines Suzuki team returns to action June 7-9 at the Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, TN.

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

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