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2015 Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing Ready to Race

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Team Suzuki Press Office – April 10. There is something to be said for tradition. The consistent and time-honored experiences and rites that over the years eventually become the stuff of legend. And when it comes to road racing, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing is truly steeped in tradition – the tradition of racing and, perhaps more importantly, the tradition of winning. Indeed, the team is legendary.

For decades, Suzuki has been the dominating force in AMA Superbikes. No other manufacturer even comes close to approaching the extraordinary number of records that Suzuki has set within this genre of racing. From the number of championships captured, to the overall races won, to the pole positions set, Suzuki stands alone.

For the 2015 season, Yoshimura Suzuki has the potential to exceed even its own expectations and traditions. Former AMA Supersport Champion Roger Hayden begins his second year racing the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 in AMA Superbike, having finished runner-up in the premier class in 2014. He is joined by 2013 AMA Road Racing ‘Rookie of the Year’ Jake Lewis, who is moving up to the Superbike class after competing his entire career on 600cc machines. Both Hayden and Lewis will ride the championship-winning Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Thanks to Suzuki’s proven Championship DNA and superior technology, the team is looking for the upcoming year of racing to culminate with another championship. The 2015 MotoAmerica AMA Superbike season will once again see Suzuki Own The Racetrack at the series that begins this weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

Roger Hayden:

Roger Hayden will be racing his second season with the championship-winning Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing team. He’s familiar with the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike having previously raced the bike for one of Suzuki’s satellite teams. He picked-up his first-ever AMA Pro Superbike victory in 2012 before finishing third overall in the series. He followed-up that performance by finishing on the podium six times and fourth overall in 2013. Last year he moved up another rung of the ladder by finishing runner-up in the championship after scoring eight podium results, including a victory at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Hayden is eager to prove his mettle as he vies for the AMA Pro Superbike title with Suzuki’s full factory support.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of 2014,” Hayden said. “This being my second year with Yoshimura Suzuki, I think we’ll be able to hit the ground running and the goal is to be a contender at every race, and ultimately to win the championship.”

Jake Lewis:

Yoshimura Suzuki has long had a reputation of bringing along young riders and helping them realise their potential. Kevin Schwantz and Ben Spies are two of the riders given their first big opportunities to race AMA Superbike and for 2015 teenager Jake Lewis hopes to follow in that mold.

Lewis comes to Yoshimura Suzuki with a strong resume for any rider, much less a one who’s just 19. In 2013 Lewis was named AMA Road Racing Rookie of the Year after earning a slew of top-five finishes in Daytona SportBike. Last year Lewis broke through to score his first AMA National victories – his first at Laguna Seca, followed up with a victory at Mid-Ohio. He finished the 2014 season as the second-ranked rider in Daytona SportBike.

“Getting a factory Superbike ride with Yoshimura Suzuki is a dream come true,” said Lewis. “The team has made it very comfortable for me, telling me this is my learning year, but I plan on trying to run up-front with the leaders as soon as possible. I’m giving myself some pretty high goals.”

Don Sakakura – Race Director:

The man behind the Yoshimura Suzuki team is Don Sakakura. He’s been in the motorcycle industry since the mid-1970s and with Yoshimura since 1980. He manages all of Yoshimura’s motorsports activities, which also includes the off-road programs.

Most recently, Sakakura was the driving force behind Suzuki’s lengthy list of AMA championships. He was a major part of Mat Mladin’s record-breaking seven AMA Superbike Championships in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2009. He was a contributor to Aaron Yates’ AMA Supersport Championship in 2002 and AMA Superstock Championship in 2005. He was also behind Ben Spies’ 2003 AMA Formula Xtreme Championship and three consecutive AMA Superbike Championships in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Now, he’s preparing to continue his support for Yoshimura Suzuki’s Roger Hayden and Jake Lewis as they embark on the 2015 racing season.

“We’re excited about the 2015 season,” he said. “It’s a new era with MotoAmerica running the series and we feel we’ve got a great mix, with Roger bringing his ample experience to the team once again. We’re also very happy to have a young talent like Jake Lewis. He’s shown so much promise at such an early age. We want to help guide his career to the next level and with Roger and Jake being good friends it should really help the atmosphere in paddock and we expect to make a lot of progress with them sharing information.”

Daisuke Hashimoto – Crew Chief, Jake Lewis:

The 2015 racing season brings a new challenge for Daisuke Hashimoto. A former suspension technician with Showa Racing, Hashimoto is originally from Saitama, Japan, and spent two years as crew chief for Yoshimura Suzuki’s Chris Clark and last season was Crew Chief for Martin Cardenas. This year, Hashimoto takes over the lead roll for Yoshimura Suzuki rookie Jake Lewis and with that takes on the all-important responsibility of helping guide Lewis through the transition to the top level of racing in America.

“I have enjoyed the last six years with Yoshimura Suzuki and the last three as a chief mechanic,” said Hashimoto. “I learned a lot about what it takes to create structure within a crew and to work together to create and maintain a shared vision. Working with a newcomer like Lewis will be a unique challenge and we hope to help make the move to Superbike race a seamless one.”

David Jones – Crew Chief, Roger Hayden:

With the addition of former AMA SuperSport Champion Roger Hayden to the Yoshimura Suzuki in 2014, team member David Jones took on the roll as Hayden’s crew chief. He’ll once again take on that roll for 2015. Jones has been involved in road racing since 1992 and this is his second stint with Yoshimura Suzuki. The first was as crew chief for Pascal Picotte and Thomas Stevens in the mid-1990s. Most recently, Jones returned to Yoshimura Suzuki in 2010 and has focused his efforts on chassis and fabrication work until now.

“I’m looking forward to working with Roger once again,” said Jones. “He’s really progressed as a racer in the past few years and this season we’re poised to battle for the title. Our goal is to give him the best bike we can give him, and try to win races. We have a good crew, a good bike and I know we’ve got a proven rider. Ultimately, we want to win the championship so Yoshimura Suzuki can run that number one plate again.”

Rich Doan – Team Co-ordinator:

For Yoshimura Suzuki, the man who keeps everything running smoothly is Team Coordinator Rich Doan. With Yoshimura for more than 15 years, Doan started out as a road racer but then turned to wrenching on bikes. He worked with multiple privateer teams, and even did a stint with World Superbikes before landing at Yoshimura in 1996.

According to Doan, his job is to take care of the everyday details that occur at Yoshimura and that have to do with the team. Whether it’s booking hotel reservations and airfare, co-ordinating the paint schemes for the team ‘semi’ and the race bikes, or ordering canopies for pit lane, Doan is on top of it.

“We’re a team, a collaborative effort,” said Doan. “The hope that we all share and the goal we’re all working toward is to win races and a championship. That’s what we’re here for, day in and day out. And it’s my job to make sure that everybody has everything they need to get the job done.”

SUZUKI GSX-R1000:

In the two-wheeled arena, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 is truly without peer. It was this superior machine that propelled both Mat Mladin to an unprecedented seven AMA Superbike Championships and Ben Spies to an impressive three consecutive AMA Superbike titles.

The Suzuki GSX-R1000 was Mladin’s weapon of choice when he captured every single AMA Superbike pole position in a single season and then went on to set the record for most career AMA Superbike pole positions and the most AMA Superbike career victories. Indeed, during the 2007 and 2008 AMA Superbike seasons, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 captured every pole position and every victory and set the fastest laps in every race. Finally, the last 10 out of 15 AMA Superbike titles have been won on a Suzuki GSX-R.

Now, the new 2015 GSX-R1000 once again proves that it is a motorcycle that legends are made of. Its amazing throttle response, power and acceleration at mid-range engine speeds are just a few of the Suzuki’s mind-blowing characteristics. Outstanding braking ability and agile handling are also par for the course with the GSX-R1000. This machine lets everyone know at a glance that it’s the latest iteration of the championship-winning machines that have dominated racetracks around the world.

The GSX-R1000 represents Suzuki’s passion for innovation and offers exactly what you need to Own The Racetrack.

2015 AMA SUPERBIKE SCHEDULE:

April 10-12: Circuit of the Americas – Austin, Texas
April 17-19: Road Atlanta – Braselton, Georgia
May 15-17: Virginia International Raceway – Alton, Virginia
May 29-31: Road America – Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
June 12-14: Barber Motorsports Park – Birmingham, Alabama
June 26-28: Miller Motorsports Park – Toole, Utah
July 17-19: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, California
August 7-9: Indianapolis Motor Speedway – Indianapolis, Indiana
Sept. 11-13: New Jersey Motorsports Park – Millville, New Jersey

Team Yoshimura Suzuki is grateful for the support of their sponsors: Yoshimura R&D, Suzuki Motor of America, Motorex, Parts Unlimited, Dunlop, Shorai, Sunstar, K&N Performance Filters, NGK Spark Plugs, RK Racing Chain, Genmark Automation, Pilot, Chicken Hawk Racing and Zeta.