The following is from Suzuki…
Team Hammer is proud to announce the signing of former World and MotoAmerica Champion Toni Elias and fast-rising Teagg Hobbs for Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki for the 2023 season of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship.
Elias will ride Superbike and Hobbs will compete in Supersport around the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. They will join previously announced returning drivers Richie Escalante and Tyler Scott.
Superbike ace Elias is one of the most successful and exciting racers in MotoAmerica history. The Spaniard originally took the series by storm in 2016, notching up three consecutive wins aboard the GSX-R1000R in what was originally planned as a temporary ride to replace an injured rider.
The remarkable start laid the foundation for the historic multi-year run that followed. Elias won the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike title in dominant fashion with ten wins and 18 podiums, and racked up an amazing 32 race wins and 60 podiums from 2016-2020.
He returned to alternate duty in 2021 after retiring and showed he still had the pace to race at the front, taking two podiums in limited action.
Of course, Elias was already a household name in the States before his exploits. Before he even spun a wheel in MotoAmerica, he was already a global star in road racing, winning the 2010 Moto2 World Championship as well as race victories in the MotoGP, Moto2, 250cc and 125cc world championships.
Elias returns to active duty after a 2022 focus on helping other riders unlock their potential through his riding school, Toni Elias Performance.
“I am excited for the opportunity to race again and it is special to do so with Suzuki and a team that I know in the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki,” said Elias. â€œIt is great that they have given me this opportunity and I am excited and motivated. I’m willing to work hard. It won’t be easy, but let’s do it! I know the bike well and I know the good things about it. We will work hard to improve it even more and I can’t wait to get started.”
“We all know that Toni Elias is a MotoAmerica Champion and we’ve seen what he’s capable of,” said Chris Ulrich, Team Hammer’s vice president of operations. “He’s a huge talent and our job is to give him the machines and the environment he needs to get back to the top. There’s no doubt he has the ability and we need to help use it.”
Hobbs, 20, will be entering Supersport action aboard a Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R750 after an impressive three-year tenure in the MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship. During that span, Hobbs had three consecutive top-10 championship finishes — including a fourth place finish in 2021 — and had ten podiums, highlighted by two race wins.
A second-generation racer, Hobbs began his racing career at 14 and at age 16 he earned his first MotoAmerica top 10 in the final points by finishing eighth in the 2018 Junior Cup.
In addition to his MotoAmerica achievements, the Manchester, New Hampshire native was part of the winning WERA/N2 Lightweight Endurance racing team at the 2022 WERA Grand National Finals and competed in an Aprilia Racing RS 660 Trofeo race at the Autodromo Vallelunga in Campagnano di Roma part. Italy.
“This will be my first season in Supersport and to ride with Team Hammer and Suzuki is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Hobbs. “When the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t say no. Over the last few years I had developed a relationship with the team and loved riding their bikes. I really prefer the Suzuki and I’m excited to see what we can do on a bigger bike in one of the best MotoAmerica classes. I’m willing to learn and do my best.â€
â€œTeagg is new to the team, but not new to us,â€ said Chris Ulrich. â€œIn the past we have provided him with a Suzuki SV650 which he has won races on. I know Teagg will benefit from a good team structure. At the start of the season, the goal is for Teagg to be in the top 5 straight away and be fighting for podiums by the end of the year.”