HAYDEN GILLIM WINS SPRINGFIELD TT ON SUZUKI RM-Z450 // Man with a Van and a Plan Leads Flag to Flag
May 30, 2017
(BREA, CA) May 30, 2017 – Hayden Gillim rode to victory on his Cycle World Suzuki RM-Z40 Saturday night at the Springfield TT American Flat Track AFT Singles National at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Gillim had a perfect night, being fast qualifier, winning both his qualifying and then leading every lap of the national final in front of a worldwide live broadcast on FansChoice.TV.
In the Main, Gillim built his lead to nearly three seconds at one point in the race, but ran a more conservative pace in the closing laps and won by a margin of 1.902 seconds. Gillim accomplished the feat in spite of forgetting to tighten his front brake lever. He was forced to improvise and hold up the brake lever with his thumb.
The win is Gillim's second AFT Singles triumph, backing up last year's victory in the Peoria TT.
"Tonight's been an awesome night," Gillim said. "My Suzuki RM-Z450 was working great all night; I don't think I touched anything since we pulled it out of the van. I probably should have tightened up the front brake lever… As soon as I went out on track (for the Main), my front brake lever went loose, and it just dropped straight down. I was having to hold it up with my thumb all race. Somehow, I was able to manage it although there were a couple of close moments. I don't know how I was able to do it without these guys passing me."
It's well known to racing fans that Gillim is closely related to racing royalty. It seems only fitting that Gillim stood atop of the podium for the Springfield TT 15 years after his cousins Nicky, Tommy, and Roger Hayden swept the podium in the historic race in 2002, particularly in the wake of Nicky's tragic passing earlier this week.
Gillim dedicated his victory to both Nicky and his late brother Ethan, who passed away in a racing incident in 2007: "Seeing Nicky, Tommy, and Roger put it up on the podium, all three in one night, that's always made me want to get here and get this win. Team 95… this one is for my little brother, and it's for Nicky too. This is for them."
Gillim now turns his attention back to his full-time road racing gig aboard his Cycle World Suzuki GSX-R1000 and races next weekend at the MotoAmerica Superbike event in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
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