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Feb 16, 2019

​MotoAmerica: Valentin Debise Will Not Be Racing In 2019

Valentin Debise (53). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Valentin Debise, a regular front-runner in MotoAmerica Supersport during the last three seasons, will not be racing full-time anywhere in 2019.

Earlier this week, the 26-year-old Frenchman posted a statement (in English) on social media that read: “I am not going to race in 2019. I do not want to give the full explanation.

“First I want to say thank you @suzukicycles [Suzuki Motor of America, Inc.] and @team_hammer_inc [Team Hammer] for having me the last three years.

“I'm still having my 100% motivation on riding, and even more racing in @motoamerica. I'm keeping my training (physically and moto) schedule as I always do during this times of the year and make myself ready in case any opportunity show up.

“Also thanks @michelinmotorsport for still giving me a lot of tire testing this year.

“Not what I wanted, but I'm healthy and still enjoying my life.

“See you soon at the track.”

After stints in the 250cc Grand Prix, Moto2, Supersport, and Endurance World Championships and success in the French National Championship, Debise came to America in 2016 and began a three-year stint riding for Team Hammer. Debise rode an M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 to five MotoAmerica Supersport race wins, 29 additional podium finishes, and third in the Supersport Championship in each of his three MotoAmerica seasons.

Debise wanted to move out of the 600cc Supersport class and up to MotoAmerica Superbike for 2019, and at his request Team Hammer released him so he could test with Yoshimura Suzuki at Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, California, on the same day as Team Hammer’s annual school at Daytona International Speedway. Debise was considered a strong candidate to join the Yoshimura Suzuki factory MotoAmerica Superbike team for 2019, but that job ultimately went to former AMA Pro Superbike Champion Josh Herrin, who won two MotoAmerica Superbike races last season, with 10 additional podium finishes.

“Overall, we enjoyed working with Valentin,” said Chris Ulrich, Team Hammer Vice President of Operations. “We supported his decision to move out of Supersport and into Superbike for 2019, but we had a commitment to Jake Lewis and couldn’t secure the resources needed to build and run an additional, competitive Superbike. We highly recommended Valentin to Suzuki and Yoshimura, but they made their decision to take Josh Herrin based on his MotoAmerica Superbike results, and we respect that--Josh is a fan favorite and earned that ride. Having said that, if we got a chance to work with Valentin again in the future, we’d try to do it.”

For the 2019 season, Debise was replaced on Team Hammer’s MotoAmerica Supersport and ASRA Daytona 200 bikes by American Bobby Fong.

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