Team Suzuki Press Office – August 16.

Preston Kilroy: RM-Z250 – 15-14
Derek Drake: RM-Z250 – 14-16
Marshal Weltin: RM-Z450 – 0-15

After a two-weekend break, the 2022 AMA Pro Motocross Series kicked off the final four rounds of racing with a return to Unadilla MX in New Berlin, NY.

BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki's Preston Kilroy and his Suzuki RM-Z250 delivered their third straight top-15 overall finish in his sophomore season of pro racing. Kilroy's BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki teammate Derek Drake was also fast with his Suzuki RM-Z250 on the rolling, natural terrain track.

Twisted Tea Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance's Marshal Weltin rebounded for a great second moto performance aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 and BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki racers Dilan Schwartz and Carson Mumford showed top speed with their Suzuki RM-Z250s on the track that's been on the series schedule since the start of the sport 50 seasons ago.

Kilroy started Moto 1 with a mid-pack start. From there he put the power down and moved forward through the first moto. Kilroy remained strong through Moto 2 as the grass track broke down to become a high-speed, choppy, and challenging track.

"This weekend had its ups and downs, but I'm excited to keep pushing each weekend!" said Kilroy. "In Moto 1 I didn’t get the best start but made some quick moves and made my way into the top 15. In the second moto, I came off the line really well and was top five until the second turn when I made a small mistake. After that, I just tried to put in fast laps. I'm ready to finish these last three rounds off strong."

Drake showed his improving endurance in his return to racing. The BarX/ Chaparral Suzuki athlete took the battle to his competitors in Moto 1 and was in the fight for top 10 points for the majority of the 30-minute plus two-lap moto. At the end of the day's racing, Drake had earned enough points to advance one spot in the championship standings.

"Today was good. I struggled late in the motos with how choppy it was," Drake said. "But I know my speed is there and I'm looking forward to next weekend.”

Weltin was the lone athlete on the Twisted Tea Suzuki team at Unadilla. He rebounded from Moto 1 troubles to put in a strong Moto 2 performance when the choppy track was at its most challenging. He earned enough points to hold steady inside the top 15 in points in the 450 class.

"Right from the start, I struggled in qualifying. That break, I just came back to racing and felt just a little off with my riding," Weltin explained, then added, "I rebounded in the motos. I put myself in a decent position in Moto 1, I was around 12th at the start, but got shuffled back, I was around 15th or 16th then had some unfortunate trouble and couldn't finish. We had the far outside gate pick for Moto 2, so it was tough to get a start. But I came from last to charge back to 15th. With everyone coming back this weekend I feel that's a respectable finish. Now I'm going to put the work boots on and grind this week back in California."

Mumford looked set for another strong day after a ninth place overall qualifying position assured him a good gate pick. Unfortunately, a big crash in the early laps of Moto 1 ended his day before he got a chance to turn his speed into championship points.

"I had a great day going with good lap times in practice," Mumford said. "But on the first lap in the first moto had a terrible crash and the bike was so damaged I had to pull off. I'm a little banged up but should be okay for Budds Creek."

Schwartz came into round nine sick, but ready to put his best foot forward for the team and battled illness, his competitors, as well as the track as the high-speed course developed unforgiving square-edged bumps.

"It was a tough day at Unadilla and obviously these are not the results we want." Schwartz went on to explain, "I’m dealing with some illness right now so just getting through the day was a success. But I’m doing my best to get over it and get back to my normal self ASAP."

"I'm happy with how the team handled the day. Marshal led the way for us," said Dustin Pipes, Team Manager of the Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki Presented by Progressive Insurance team. "Marshal had an unfortunate issue that kept him from finishing the first moto. The team was without Brandon Hartranft this round due to an injury that occurred the previous round. We are hoping to have him back for Budds Creek."

The series runs the final three races on consecutive weekends, with Budds Creek in Mechanicsville, Maryland, the host of round 10 this Saturday.

Unadilla Image Gallery (BrownDogWilson): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Championship points (round by round): CLICK HERE

For more stories about Brandon Hartranft, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Marshal Weltin, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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