Kyle Peters Battles Through the Pain to Earn First Podium of 2018 | Transworld Motocross
Cypress, California (April 23, 2018) - Sometimes you just have to see something to believe it. And if wasn't for FOX broadcasting a nationally televised Monster Energy AMA Supercross to a network audience on Saturday afternoon to prove it, people might not believe Kyle Peters raced his way to a third-place finish with a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL).
Despite all the challenges that came along with the injuries, including having practically no stability in his left knee, the rider of the JE Pistons-powered No. 76 Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki RM-Z250 gutted his way to his first podium finish since 2013.
Peters was injured in a freak accident last weekend in Minneapolis after slipping on a patch of ice while making his way to final practice at U.S. Bank Stadium. With only two races left to decide the Eastern Regional 250SX Class championship, Peters, who came into Gillette Stadium sixth in points, made the decision to try and race. Try, and race, he most certainly did.
"I'm speechless," offered Peters following the 250SX Class main event. "I can't believe how the day ended considering how much pain I was in Saturday morning. During the track walk I knew there were some rhythm sections that I wouldn't be able to do, because my left knee obviously isn't strong. I struggled in practice and qualifying. After the final session, we put more tape on my knee in order to stabilize it. I was very tentative in the heat race because I was worried about my knee. The goal was to put as little time on the bike as possible, but unfortunately, I didn't qualify through the heat race. I won the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier), which loosened me up and gave me some confidence."
"I got a really good start from the outside on my Suzuki RM-Z250 and raced in fourth for quite a while. I told myself that I would crash out before I would settle for fourth place, because I had nothing to lose and I made it happen. I cannot thank the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team enough for their support and hard work. They gave me the best opportunities to run up front and reach my potential. It has been a long five years since I last visited the podium, so I'm glad to finish third this weekend."
Peters' JGRMX Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing teammates Weston Peick and Malcolm Stewart carried the load for the JE-sponsored contingent in the premier 450SX Class, finishing sixth and seventh, respectively.
"The whole experience was interesting," explained Peick. "It was an open stadium and we raced in the middle of the afternoon, which is rare for us. I qualified very well in comparison to how I normally do, and that set the mood for the main event. For some reason, I was super delayed coming off the line when the gate dropped for the main event, so I was basically playing catch up. I made my way up to sixth place, which was good considering where I was after the first lap."
For his part, Stewart had a solid afternoon. The Haines City, Fla., resident finished third in his heat race
and went on to notch his fifth top 10 of the season in the main event. The rider of the No. 27 Suzuki RM-Z450 is 10th in points with two races remaining on the schedule.
"The day went well," commented Stewart. "It was the first day race I had this season, which was different. The weather wasn't too bad, because I've been staying in North Carolina and getting used to the cold temperatures. I'll admit that I was yawning in the first practice while hitting the rhythms, because I was tired from waking up so early [laughter]. My heat race went off around the same time as the normal afternoon Supercross qualifier would go off, so that was strange. Still, racing during the day was cool, aside from the sun being in my eyes when I was jumping the triples. I was happy to finish seventh. The goal is to only get better from here."
Monster Energy AMA Supercross returns to the Beehive State this weekend for the penultimate race of the 2018 season. Round 16 from the University of Utah's Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City will be televised live on FOX Saturday, April 28 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:30 p.m. Pacific.