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Dec 4, 2009

American Suzuki Confirms 2010 AMA Pro Road Racing Plans

This customized Yamaha YZF-R1 put together by Don Emde will be auctioned off to raise money for Riders For Health. Photos by Sandy Gougis.
American Suzuki announced at the International Motorcycle Show in Long Beach Friday that it would consolidate its "factory" racing operations on- and off-road under the Yoshimura banner for 2010, and continue its road racing support-team program in the U.S.

Yoshimura will field Tommy Hayden and Blake Young on GSX-R1000s in the AMA Pro Racing American Superbike Series, while American Suzuki will continue its support of Team M4 Suzuki, which will field Martin Cardenas, winner of seven Daytona SportBike races on a GSX-R600 in 2009.

Team M4 Suzuki, in turn, will provide technical and logistical support for Richie Morris Racing and 2009 AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike Champion Danny Eslick, who will be riding a GEICO Insurance-backed Suzuki GSX-R600 in 2010 with M4 co-branding. Cardenas' M4 Suzuki will run GEICO co-branding.

"We are anticipating another fantastic season of racing," Don Sakakura, President of Yoshimura R&D, said. "The competition is in trouble."

In other events at the show's opening media ceremonies, Yamaha's Ben Spies talked to assembled members of the media via teleconference from Texas, and told reporters that he hoped to be competitive in his rookie MotoGP season.

Spies expressed confidence that the new rules limiting the number of engines a MotoGP team can use per season will reduce the performance gap between the factory Fiat Yamaha squad and the satellite Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team Spies and fellow Texan Colin Edwards will ride for in 2010.

But Spies did not downplay the difficulty of challenging "The Aliens," the nickname for the four MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner who have simply dominated the class.

"Those guys "¦ they don't get enough credit," Spies said.

Also revealed at the show was a Yamaha YZF-R1 Rossi-themed custom that will be auctioned off to benefit the Riders For Health charity, and a Dr. Dre/Beats customized Ducati 848 that is a collaborative effort of the rap icon, Ducati and Hewlett-Packard.
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