Suzuki’s passion for motorcycling has led to a vibrant and successful history of motorcycle racing. From dirt racing to road racing, the passion to build athletes into champions and the desire to develop race-winning machines is a passion that has been ingrained into Suzuki’s DNA.
The future success of Team Suzuki’s professional racing efforts relies significantly on the stars of the next generation. For 2016, Suzuki is excited to announce the revival of its incredibly successful Team Suzuki Amateur Racing program. The program that helped foster some of the top names in today’s Supercross and Motocross roster will be re-introduced in 2016 with the next generation of rising amateur racers.
“We are proud to announce our six new Team Suzuki members,” said Pat Alexander, Suzuki’s Race Support Manager, “four who will ride the RM85, and two who will ride both the RM-Z250 and RM-Z450.”
The team will consist of RM85 riders Crockett Myers and Nicholas (Nikko) Capps, who will focus on the 85cc classes. Casey Cochran will compete in the 65cc division in 2016 while developing his skills on the RM85 in preparation for his transition to the 85cc class.
In addition, TJ Rios will contest in the Super Mini divisions aboard an RM85. Racing the RM-Z250 and RM-Z450 will be Ashton Hayes and Richard Taylor. Hayes will compete in the A classes, and Taylor will represent Suzuki in the B classes.
“We selected riders who are the top competitors in their region of the country,” said Alexander, “and for their professional racing attitude that will allow them to fit in well with the entire Team Suzuki racing family. With Suzuki’s help, these young racers will have access to other supporters and sponsors to help grow their careers. Plus, they’ll gain support from Team Suzuki members Ricky Carmichael and James Stewart, as well as other teammates and coaches. We know there is a lot that transpires between racing an RM85 and becoming a Supercross champion on an RM-Z450. This is how you build a future Factory team, and we are excited to get started.”
The growth of Suzuki Amateur Racing brings benefits not only to Suzuki’s newly announced Suzuki Amateur Racing riders, but to all Suzuki racers. “Nationwide, Suzuki racers will see a more dedicated Suzuki Amateur Racing crew at events,” said Alexander, “that’s been missing in the recent past, but we are rebuilding our program with good support and good product to benefit all Suzuki riders.”
The enhanced race-support program will help build future Suzuki champions, it will reward many Suzuki racers for their efforts with increased contingency awards, and it will support Suzuki riders at tracks nationwide. Several of these initiatives were kicked off last summer, including the Trackside Support program and increased contingency spending.
Suzuki is excited to expand its amateur racing efforts in 2016 and is looking forward to a successful season.