Yates Back With Jordan

Henny Ray Abrams | January 8, 2009
Another piece of the 2009 AMA Superbike Championship puzzle fell into place with the announcement that 2008 Superstock champion Aaron Yates would return to the Michael Jordan Motor Sports team in 2009.

The Georgian, who gave team owner and basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan his first title as a team owner, will race in the Superbike class. Other details, such as his teammate, sponsor, or bike brand were not announced.

“Aaron’s performance over the past two years made the decision to bring him back an easy one,” said Kreig Robinson, Michael Jordan Motor Sports Director of Business Development. “He has a never-say-die attitude and he finds ways to win. We have an extremely talented crew and staff, but at the end of the day, a rider has to ride the bike.”

It’s likely that MJMS will retain Yates’ fellow Georgian Geoff May in forming a two-rider team and that they’ll be on Suzuki GSX-R1000’s, the brand they’ve run since the team’s inception and the second partner listed on the team press release.

As for sponsorship, a team official said at the season-ending race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca that there would be two teams, one with the traditional Jordan Brand sponsors, including Nike, Gatorade, Hanes, and Upper Deck, and a second team with a new sponsor. The second sponsor will be the National Guard. Michael Jordan unveiled the number ‘23’ National Guard Michael Jordan Motor Sports Superbike at a National Guard training workshop in October in Orlando, Florida.

“Winning means a lot,” Jordan said at the time. Jordan’s brother, James Jordan, retired in 2006 as command sergeant major of the 18th Airborne Corps’ 35th Signal Brigade. “You put forth a lot of hard work and dedication. You start the season off with a lot of goals. You go through disappointments in the course of the season, and at the end of the year when you finally step up to that podium and win the championship, nothing’s more gratifying.”

The Jordan team didn’t take part in the December Dunlop tire test at Daytona.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.