The following is from Hudson Motorcycles…
After several extremely successful testing days during the off season, Richie Escalante and The Hudson Motorcycles-HB Racing team arrived in Atlanta, Georgia for the season opener of the MotoAmerica SuperSport Championship with their eye on the prize.
With a P3 starting position and a podium finish after race 2, the Hudson Motorcycles HB racing team came back stronger than ever but not without a few bumps in the road.
On Tuesday night the team’s chassis mechanic, Patrick Goujonvaldes was checking into the hospital instead of his flight to Atlanta for the birth of his healthy second son. The team had to act quickly to find a replacement and was able to connect with Craig “Huey” Stewart, an Atlanta native and a staple at the Road Atlanta track. Goujonvaldes was able to join the team Friday night, just in time for the weekend.
After day 1, Richie Escalante had secured a 3rd place finish in qualifying securing a P3 starting position. Escalante did not have the best start putting him in 7th but with constant grit and determination, Escalante was able to move his Hudson Motorcycle-HB Racing Yamaha R6 into 4th place, just .7 seconds behind the 3rd place contender.
After a reset that evening with a few minor setup changes, the team was ready to come back and fight for a podium finish. However, late that evening, the Hudson Motoryclces- HB Racing team was notified that Escalante’s heroic grandfather had passed away. Despite his profound sorrow, Escalante continued to portray the professionalism and attitude that he has come to be known and respected for, and finish race 2 of round 1. With the support and love of his team, Escalante kept his head down and pushed his way into 3rd place, a podium finish and a tribute to his grandfather
“I cannot begin to say how proud I am of the whole crew. From day 1 they worked hard to put a great bike under Richie and we have really grown to be a team on and off the track.” stated Mark Shinder, Team Manager/ Co-Owner. “Despite a personal hurdle that Richie was going through on Sunday, he carried himself with such grace and poise through an extremely difficult and emotional day. I couldn’t be prouder of him and feel incredibly lucky to have him as our rider.”
“ The new team continues to add pieces and a working relationship is beginning to emerge. Richie’s feedback is more precise with each session allowing us to improve his feeling and confidence” Exclaims Curtice Thom, Crew Chief. “A podium result is a great payoff for a winter of hard work for the entire team. Thank to all of our technical sponsors as we push onto round 2 in Virginia.”
Richie Escalante and The Hudson Motorcycles-HB Racing team would love to give a special thank you to Josh Hayes for helping this weekend by not only finding a chassis tech replacement but also for all the work he has been doing with Richie and the Team. A big thank you to HB RACING for the support along with our other sponsors including: Akropovic exhaust, Bel Ray Lubricants, Vortex EK, Vesrah, Motion Pro, Velocity Tape, Sprint Filter, Dynojet, CoreMotoUSA, Galfer, Shoei Helmets USA, Spidi,Cap It,Lightech, Pitbull and StomGrip.