Schwantz racing school moves to BMP

Honda and Suzuki back new program

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 08, 2009
Former 500cc Grand Prix champion Kevin Schwantz is moving his racing school to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.

The Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School had been based in Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga. since its inception in 2001. For 2009, the school will move to the 16-turn 2.38-mile Barber circuit. Barber Motorsports Park will also host a new program, the Kevin Schwantz Super School, which will be backed by the Motorcycle Industry Council, Suzuki and Honda.

“We at Barber Motorsports Park are pleased to add the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School and the Super School program to the park lineup. We now have two world class schools here in Birmingham,” says Jeff Ray, a representative of Barber Motorsports Park

Schwantz first announced the move during an appearance on Pit Pass Radio.

“Barber is recognized as the motorcycling Mecca of the United States,” says Schwantz. “It’s more than a racetrack; it’s a destination. The museum has the largest collection of motorcycles anywhere in the world and the largest motorcycle library. Students will not only become better motorcycle riders, they will learn more about the sport, as well.

Kevin Schwantz says it makes economic sense for manufacturers to work together to support riding schools.“Barber has a lot of different types of corners with decreasing radii and blind approaches,” Schwantz adds. “Top speed is lower than on the back straightaway at Road Atlanta, and I think that’s going to make Barber an even better learning environment.”

Schwantz’s Suzuki School and Super School will feature the same curriculum which is geared for both beginning riders and aspiring racers. The main difference would be the involvement of Suzuki and Honda. Suzuki will supply motorcycles for both schools while Honda will provide bikes to the Super School. Schwantz says other manufacturers may become involved in the future.

“Because of the current economy, some brands don’t have the ability to be involved in our program,” says Schwantz. “But I would like to think that in the future we might have six, possibly eight, manufacturers involved and holding 10, 15 or maybe even 20 schools per year. We need to continue to push education and safety, and during times when budgets are tight, it makes sense for all of us to work together.”

The 1993 500cc Grand Prix champion, Schwantz was inducted to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1999. Schwantz has 25 wins and 51 podium appearances to his credit in 105 Grand Prix appearances, all with Suzuki. In addition to his racing school, Schwantz is a coach for the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup program.