Suzuki to race AMA American Superbikes

Mladin, Hayden and Young to race GSX-R1000

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jan. 27, 2009
American Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced it will enter a team in the 2009 AMA American Superbike class.

The three-bike Rockstar Makita Suzuki Racing team will feature returning riders Tommy Hayden and six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin along with the recently signed Blake Young, who will replace departing champion Ben Spies.

“After extensive discussions with AMA Pro Racing, American Suzuki has received clarification of the AMA rules that will see the Suzuki GSX-R1000 on the racing grid beginning with the opening round in Daytona, Florida in March,” a team press release states.

Mat Mladin will return to challenge for a seventh AMA title.American Suzuki has dominated the AMA Superbike class for several years. After Daytona Motorsports Group acquired the rights to AMA Pro Racing, the Suzuki team became one of the new promoter’s most vocal critics. Mladin in particular voiced his disappointment when DMG initially announced its plans for the 2009 season.

Tensions between American Suzuki and DMG came to a head when Mladin was stripped of two race victories at Virginia International Raceway because of an illegal crankshaft. The disqualifications all but ended Mladin’s chances of winning the 2008 championship.

After its appeal was denied, Rockstar Makita Suzuki released a statement saying “AMA Pro Racing has obviously abused its discretion and has wrongfully tarnished Mladin’s reputation in the public eye by disqualifying him and ignoring the evidence offered in good faith.”

The return of American Suzuki is welcome news for AMA Pro Racing, especially following the withdrawal of American Honda’s factory racing program.