– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

New 600cc Bikes and Big Names Equal WAR!!

Last season, Aaron Yates and Suzuki ran off with all the marbles in the 600 Supersport class. This next season, the superbike class has become kind of a big question mark with the new rules, causing Yamaha and possibly Kawasaki to forego participation. This seems to have moved much of the focus to the 600 Supersport series for 2003.

There are three new 600s (from Honda, Kawasaki and Yamaha) coming to do battle with the apparently unchanged GSXR600, but the names of the riders showing up to do battle may be the bigger story, including some names that haven’t been in the 600 class on a regular basis for some time.

Yamaha has no less than four riders on their new R6 – Damon Buckmaster, Jamie Hacking, Aaron Gobert and Jason Disalvo, who is crossing over from the 250 GP ranks.

Honda has Miguel DuHamel, the acknowledged master, and all time leader in 600 class race wins and championships, aboard the new 600RR. Kurtis Roberts might be back in the seat of a 600 after not competing in the class last season, and maybe, just maybe Ben Bostrom. The Honda brigade does not stop there – Erion Honda has Roger Lee Hayden for a second year and new team member Jake Zemke, who moves over from Bruce Transportation Group. Doug Chandler, a.k.a., Mr. Smooth, will be on a Team No Limits Honda 600RR.

Kawasaki has Tommy Hayden and Tony “The Tiger” Meiring, who showed a massive jump in speed mid-season last year. If Kawasaki decides to enter U.S. Superbike, Eric will be running in the supersport class as well. According to Eric’s manager, Norm Viano of Lawdog Sports Management, things are still pretty uncertain about Eric’s future in the states. The MotoGP slot is still in the cards, but Eric has a keen desire to remain in the U.S., particularly since his brother Ben is back. Things are still in a “wait and see mode”. The sibling rivalry would be fun to watch.

Bruce Transportation Group has stated they will also be back in 600 Supersport, despite the conspicuous low profile of the team since the end of the season. The loss of Jake Zemke has them searching for a replacement, and there is no word of whether Alex Gobert will return to the team.

And what of Suzuki and “Double A-Ron”, a.k.a. “The Enforcer”, the class champs? Up to this point, we do not know whether Aaron Yates will defend his title or not. Mat Mladin has been steadfast about not racing a 600, and does not seem to have changed his mind. Surely Suzuki will want the public to see their 600 wearing the number 1 plate while lapping the tracks of America.

As the old adage goes: Race on Sunday, sell on Monday. Whoever wins in 600 Supersport, stands to sell big.

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