Suzuki to race AMA American Superbike

Blake Young to join American Suzuki

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 08, 2009
American Suzuki’s plans for the 2009 AMA Pro Racing season are beginning to take shape after the manufacturer negotiated the release of Blake Young from Team Hammer, freeing him to join Suzuki’s AMA American Superbike team.

“As of this afternoon we have released Blake from the second year of his 2008-09 contract with Team Hammer,” says crew chief Keith Perry. “This release was made at the request of American Suzuki. Following negotiations with them to continue American Suzuki’s support of our team, we came to this agreement.”

American Suzuki has not formally announced its participation in the 2009 season. The team and its star rider Mat Mladin clashed with new AMA Pro Racing promoter Daytona Motorsports Group through the 2008 season, and after American Honda decided to withdraw from competition, there was speculation over whether Suzuki would follow.

In negotiation of Young’s release from Team Hammer (which races under the name Team M4 EMGO Suzuki), it is clear that Suzuki will compete in the AMA American Superbike class.

“With this agreement, Blake will not compete against Team Hammer on a 600, he'll only compete in the American Superbike class,” says Perry. “We’re sad to see him go but we’re happy that this is another young man who we’ve helped progress. Blake came in as somewhat of an unknown rider and now he’s leaving with a lot of people thinking he’s one of the hottest riders in the paddock. I feel like we’ve done a very good job with Blake and I know he’s done a good job proving himself. We’re going to enjoy watching his progression, just like we’ve done with many of our alumni that have gone on to do well.”

Racing for Team M4 EMGO Suzuki in 2008, Young recorded his first career AMA victory at Road America. Young also recorded his first Supersport win at the season finale at Laguna Seca.

Blake Young will race for American Suzuki in 2009, but will Mat Mladin?“I had a two-year deal with Team Hammer but Suzuki gave me a call about riding for the factory team and that was always a goal of mine,” said Young. “I had a good year with Team M4 EMGO Suzuki. I had a lot of fun with the team and learned a lot working with the crew. It was a great experience for me.”

Young will replace the departed Ben Spies on American Suzuki. Spies signed with Yamaha’s World Superbike team after winning three AMA Superbike championships with American Suzuki. Mladin’s status has yet to be announced, but American Suzuki did sign Tommy Hayden to a two-year extension in December.

Team Hammer however will be looking ahead to find a replacement for Young. Jason DiSalvo rode for Team Hammer at a test session at Jennings GP in December.

“We’ve been very proud of our record finding and grooming talented racers like Blake. We’re happy for him because we know he’s taking the next step and we’ve done as much as we can to help that,” says Perry. “Now we’ll just turn our attention to helping our other riders advance and we plan to make an announcement soon as to who the replacement might be.”

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