In his debut for the JGR Suzuki team at the 250SX East opener in Arlington, a lot of eyes were on the #47. The world had never seen Jimmy D race the bike, and the team was hot-off two stellar weekends with Justin Hill finishing third and first respectively in the last two 250SX West races. Could Decotis keep the momentum going?
The day started off well. After timed qualifying, Jimmy sat fourth, less than half a second off pole position. There it was, right up on the score board: he had the speed. But as any experienced racer or keen fan knows, putting together one fast lap is a cake walk compared to the full night program.
But as everyone knows, Jimmy D is a world-class starter. In his heat race, he blasted off the gate to a…terrible start. Unfortunately, Jimmy rounded turn one way outside of the lead and even outside of a top-nine qualifying place, a decidedly non-advantageous position in a six minute race. Jimmy put his head down, and picked off riders with an apparent ease and flow, making his way to third by the heat’s end. Onto the main.
In the main, the stage was set for a Jimmy D holeshot. He’s done it so many times, and after his so-so heat race start, he had to put the bike across the white line first in the main. And of course…he didn’t. In fact, after a mid-pack journey into turn one, it was all Jimmy could do to avoid the massive pile-up that claimed nearly a third of the field. Jimmy rounded turn two outside the top 10. His journey to the podium would likely have to wait at least another week.
But once again, Jimmy D did what Jimmy D does - one lap at a time, he started making moves. He was quickly into the top ten, then the top five. Decotis made it to fourth when early race leader RJ Hampshire took a small spill in the whoops. The #47 Suzuki was right on his old teammate, and with the momentum on his side, Jimmy made the pass into third. There, he stayed for the duration of the race to cross the line for the first podium of his professional career. It capped off what was an emotional, and remarkable night for The Rippa.