The following is an industry press release ...
COSTA MESA, CA, FEB. 14 - MotoAmerica has announced that Suzuki and ECSTAR, its newly launched Oil and Chemical brand, will sponsor round two of the 2017 MotoAmerica Series for the Suzuki ECSTAR Championship at Road Atlanta, April 28-30. In addition, Suzuki is returning as an Official Manufacturer of the series for a third consecutive season.
In addition to its Official Manufacturer status, which is for two years, Suzuki also supports the series on track with its Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team of Toni Elias and Roger Hayden, with the pair set to debut the brand-new 2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 during the opening round of the MotoAmerica Series at the Circuit of The Americas, April 21-23.
Last year, the Yoshimura Suzuki team had a breakout season with Elias and Hayden combining for eight victories (six for Elias, two for Hayden). Those eight wins give Suzuki 181 victories as a manufacturer in AMA Superbike racing, the high mark in series history. In addition to having the most wins in AMA Superbike history, Suzuki also holds the record for most championships with 13, the first of which came in 1979. The Yoshimura Suzuki team's history of winning runs deep, as the team captured seven consecutive Superbike titles between 2003 and 2009 with Mat Mladin and Ben Spies on GSX-Rs. In 2017, Elias and Hayden are hopeful of bringing Suzuki its 14th championship.
In addition to the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team, Suzuki also supports Team Hammer in Superstock 1000, Supersport, and Superstock 600. In 2016, Valentin Debise finished third in the Supersport Series on his GSX-R600, taking his first career MotoAmerica victory at Road America. Debise will be joined again in 2017 by Jake Lewis, who will race the GSX-R1000 in Superstock. Newcomer Nick McFadden will pilot the GSX-R600 in Supersport, and also new to the team, Brandon Cleland will ride the Superstock 600 class.
"I'm very excited about the championship prospects for Suzuki this year," said MotoAmerica President and three-time 500cc World Champion Wayne Rainey. "Especially with how they performed last year. Having Toni (Elias) and Roger (Hayden) work together has elevated the entire team and it showed in their results. This year they have a new bike, our rules have changed a little bit and everyone is starting fresh and on the same level. The Yoshimura team has a good shot at winning the championship and they come into the season with a lot of momentum. Having Suzuki be the sponsor of Road Atlanta is also a good thing. They have a long history there and Road Atlanta is really the race I look to as the start of our season since it's our first stand-alone round. Having Suzuki and its oil and chemical company ECSTAR as the title sponsor for that race is the perfect fit."
"Suzuki has a long history of road-racing excellence in the United States," said Kerry Graeber, Vice President MC/ATV Sales and Marketing at Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. "It is our pleasure to continue working alongside MotoAmerica to bring awareness to the series and to help grow the sport in America. Suzuki's all-new Oil and Chemical brand, ECSTAR, is an essential element in our continued support. With ECSTAR's involvement, the all-new 2017 GSX-R1000, and two extremely talented racers heading up the Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team, it is sure to be an exciting year for Suzuki in MotoAmerica road racing."
MotoAmerica is the new North American road racing series created in 2014. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey, ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland, motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges, and businessman Richard Varner. For more information on MotoAmerica, visit www.MotoAmerica.com. Also make sure to follow MotoAmerica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Outboard Motors and Automotive Parts and Accessories via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.
In 2015, ECSTAR was introduced as the global brand name of Suzuki Genuine Oil & Chemicals by Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan. ECSTAR Oils & Chemicals are distributed by Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. For more information, visit www.globalsuzuki.com/aftersales/ecstar.