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Very strange AMA line up including BMW's


JerryMather

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Looks like Suzuki doesn't want to play...

 

Black Friday? Suzuki Pulling Out?

by dean adams

Sunday, November 23, 2008

 

November 21 may very well go down in US Superbike history as black Friday.

 

While there is no official comment as yet, it is known that American Suzuki has told Yoshimura Suzuki that they will not be participating in the Daytona tire test next month, and sources suggest that not racing at all in 2009 is definitely on the table for Suzuki.

 

Suzuki and Kawasaki wanted less stringent rules from DMG/AMA than what were seen in the most recent release (it is said that the homologation requirements are now the issue). However, this is just one factor in a possible pull-out by the Japanese.

 

Yamaha intends to race the DMG/AMA series but as for Mladin, this would not be the first time that a manufacturer paid a rider not to race or bought him out of the final year of a contract.

Another has to be the economy, both here and in Japan. Japan has already declared itself to be in recession and while that technically has not yet happened in the US, bank failures, a strangled credit market and mass layoffs in nearly every sector make the present day in the US seem eerily more on the cusp of 1929 than 2009.

 

When gas prices topped $4 a gallon in the US, motorcycle sales were said to be decent and dealer floor traffic healthy. Now, the choked-off credit market, gas prices down to less than $2 a gallon and very alarming financial news breaking nearly every day have slowed traffic and sales for motorcycle dealers. That said, frankly, November has never been known as the month of optimism for the industry.

 

Both the current state of the US/global economies and the eight month process that it took to get a rules package that could be agreed upon by the manufacturers and DMG has unfortunately helped create a near perfect storm for 2009 US Superbike racing. The manufacturers have not signed or agreed to any new deals with riders, teams or support personnel with the exception of Tommy Hayden and Josh Hayes. This uncertainty continues; most Suzuki teams await word from American Suzuki as to what series and classes they will be racing in '09, including even Michael Jordan's Suzuki squads.

Several riders are signed for 2009 including Neil Hodgson (currently testing at Barber Motorsports today), Mat Mladin and all of the '09 Yamaha team. Yamaha intends to race the DMG/AMA series but as for Mladin, this would not be the first time that a manufacturer paid a rider not to race or bought him out of the final year of a contract.

 

ENDS

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