Suzuki Australia Marketing Manager Lewis Croft was an interested spectator at the final round of the ASBK series at Winton Raceway, and was spotted again in the Australian Superbike category pit area at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.
While Croft said it would be great to see the new GSX-R1000 winning Superbike races in Australia next year, there are no plans for a factory-backed Suzuki team. The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer will instead offer assistance to teams through its Race Support program.
“Suzuki Australia will not be fielding a distributor backed factory racing team for 2017,” Croft told AMCN.
“My purpose for attending these race meetings was to catch up with some riders and teams who have been racing the GSX-R, and understand their racing goals and aspirations for 2017. Of course, you catch up on plenty of gossip at these races, and I understand that it’s likely all the major manufacturers will be racing ASBK in 2017, and with Suzuki’s new bike, for sure I want to see GSX-Rs lining up at the front of the grid. Everyone is very excited about the new bike however it won’t be available until mid season, hence this is why I wanted to chat to some of the teams about transitioning over to the new bike mid season.”
The recent unveiling of the all-new GSX-R1000 at the Intermot show in Cologne had plenty of local Suzuki fans excited about a possible return to winning form by the marque. Croft is understandably also keen to see Suzuki back on the podium but said Suzuki will concentrate on supporting existing teams in 2017.
“We (Suzuki) have changed they way we do business in terms of racing, stepping back from wholly owned factory backed team in favour of supporting more riders on the grid via top satellite and privateer efforts.”
“Our Race Support programs will help grow road racing in Australia and increase the sport’s profile.”
Image- Keith Muir