It was a great weekend for Suzuki in Indianapolis this past weekend. Not only did the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team capture a total of three podium positions among both classes, including a win, the Suzuki City Lites squad captured their first top-five finish of the new season as Steven Clarke rode to a solid fifth-place in the 15-lap main event.
The finish was bittersweet, though, as the other half of the team, Matt Goerke, failed to make the main event after crashing in both his Heat and Last Chance Qualifier, dropping him to 12th in the point standings. However, Clarke’s fifth-place moved the rookie into a tie for sixth-overall with five rounds remaining.
Seconds after the gate dropped for the AMA Supercross Lites main event, all hell broke loose as a huge pile-up forced the AMA to red flag the race to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Suzuki City’s Clarke was unfortunately involved in the melee. “I lost my front number-plate in the crash, but it made my bike lighter which helped me get a better start the next time around,” Clarke joked after the race.
“The main event went good,” he continued. “I got a good start and I stayed with [Austin] Stroupe and [Christophe] Pourcel for a few laps, but my knee has been killing me lately, so I haven’t been practicing during the week, so that held me back after a few laps. I had to back off and just ride the race and ended up with a fifth. If my knee wasn’t hurt, I feel I could’ve run up front for the whole race because I felt really comfortable at that pace.
“I’m going to the hospital to get an MRI then I’ll go from there,” he says, adding, “I’ll definitely finish out the season, though. I’m riding through the pain. It’s nothing that’s going to stop me from racing, especially at Daytona. I’ve grown up riding sand, so I’m really looking forward to the Daytona SX this weekend.”
The next stop for the Suzuki City team is the Daytona Supercross on March 7, 2009.
Steven Clarke, Suzuki City RM-Z250, #77
5th Place – Indianapolis Supercross
6th Place (tied) – Overall Championship Points Standings
Matt Goerke, Suzuki City RM-Z250, #34
12th Place – Overall Championship Points Standings