Team Suzuki Press Office – February 16. The new-look Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe team roars into action this weekend as the European motocross scene comes to life with the first major international meeting of 2012.
Using fettled 2012 RM-Z250 technology, freshly-recruited FIM MX2 Motocross World Championship riders Harri Kullas and Petar Petrov will make their public debuts in ‘yellow’ at the Valence circuit, south of Lyon, where the Finn and the Bulgarian will encounter a host of Grand Prix peers.
For Team Manager Thomas Ramsbacher the alliance with Rockstar Energy Drink and the reaffirmation of Suzuki International Europe has allowed the team to become an important pyramid and filter of talent with the MX2 Grand Prix roster – now back to two riders after Valentin Teillet’s sole plight in 2011 – at the peak.
“Our goal from the beginning was to identify the best talent within our reach in Europe and then provide those racers with the chance, tools and opportunity to scale the heights,” the German said. “We arrived to an excellent point with Ken Roczen where Suzuki helped him win the 85cc Junior World Championship and supported him right through the European series into Grands Prix and to the stage where we were able to fight for the MX2 FIM World Championship together.
“Ken was an extreme example because it happened so quickly but we have also had impact on the careers of Xavier Boog, the current French MX1 Champion, current British MX2 Champion Arnaud Tonus; and even Clement Desalle when the team was in the early phases of its FIM World Championship participation.
“Now we stand on the edge of something very exciting,” he continued. “With Harri and Petar we again have two young lions ready to prove themselves. They are starting only their third season in GPs and we’re excited to see how they can progress. Away from the FIM Motocross World Championship we have been lucky enough to snare 15-year-old Jorge Zaragoza who will be on an RM125 in the European 125cc two-stroke series that runs at select Grand Prix events, and Brian Hsu (13) who will represent the team in 85cc competition. These two kids have to be seen to be believed with regards to what they can do on a bike.”
Kullas (20 years old from Helsinki with a best GP finish of 5th) and Petrov (17 years old from Sevlievo with a highest GP ranking of 12th) will turn the first wheels for the team in 2012 in France but the meeting will be the start of a long one with sixteen FIM Motocross World Championship fixtures this season, eight ADAC German MX Masters rounds and a likely Motocross of Nations appearance for both.
“I’m really happy to be able to join Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe as the close links the team have with the MX1 guys and the fact that I am based in Belgium for training means it is an exciting and easy move for me,” commented Kullas. “I hope to be able to make the next step with my career in 2012 and I know with the backing I have behind me it will be possible.”
“I learnt a lot during 2011 and was regularly scoring points and now with the RM-Z250 and the great team here I believe I can push for the top 10 and maybe even better in 2012; who knows?!” said an excited Petrov.
Once again Rockstar Energy Suzuki Europe will count on the first-class technical expertise of Geboers Racing Promotions and careful eye of Chief Technician Jens Johansson who has helped sculpt the RM-Z250 over half a decade into a Grand Prix-winning motorcycle. The MX2 riders will enjoy the 2012 version of the machine with further small steps made in electronics and performance.