BROOKLYN, NY, DEC. 15 –
Ben Bostrom is back with the Jordan Suzuki team for 2012 in a move that guarantees continuity after the team's strong finish to the 2011 season. The best stretch of race finishes for both Bostrom and National Guard Jordan Suzuki's Roger Lee Hayden came in the final four races, after the team had made inroads with the electronics package on the Suzuki GSX-R1000. Hayden celebrated his first Superbike podium at Mid-Ohio and added another in the final race of the season at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Bostrom scored one of his two runner-up finishes in Saturday's race at NJMP. With the team clearly on a roll, the decision was made to keep everything in place for 2012.
"Yes, we definitely wanted to roll into 2012 having the riders we ended the season with to have that continuity," Jordan Suzuki's Rich Alexander said in a telephone conversation from his family's dealership, Hudson Valley Motorcycles. "The team hasn't really had two riders back-to -back that we ended the season strong with. We thought it would be great to continue into the following year with them and keep that going."The plan all along was to keep the same two riders, if they chose to stay with the team. If not, Alexander said he spoke to Tommy Hayden about joining the Michael Jordan operation.
"The truth is if we hadn't re-signed one of our riders we would've definitely brought in Tommy Hayden," Alexander said. "There were all kinds of rumors that we were trying to find a third seat. The bottom line is if Roger or Ben didn't re-sign, I would've been calling Tommy. That was the path we decided to go."Adding a third rider brings a number of complications, Alexander pointed out. It would mean putting another semi on the road "and a lot of money. We've had sponsors talking to us about coming in and being a third program for us, just like we had National Guard come in. We had people approach us to possibly be a Superbike team for us, but nothing's come to fruition. It's been talk. That wasn't the talk I went with in discussions with Tommy." Alexander said he told him he'd "love to have in the program, but first let me sort out if the riders are returning."Bostrom and Hayden aren't the only team members returning. The technical and support crew is returning intact, as is the sponsorship, except for one or two small sponsors.
"The program is rolling forward the same as this year," Alexander said.He continued. "We are continuing with our electronics as we ended the season. By mid-season we had sorted it out and got on a good path with it. We're continuing to move forward with it. We have more direction with (Ammar) Bazzaz helping us with our electronics, but the program is all the same."The team is getting a head start on 2012 by testing, along with Larry Pegram, at Homestead-Miami Speedway next week. Homestead returns to the AMA Superbike calendar in 2012 after a 16-year absence. Pegram finished third in the 1996 Superbike race behind Miguel Duhamel and Doug Chandler. Homestead is one of two tracks returning to the championship-Road Atlanta is the other-with NOLA Motorsports Park also joining the series."Now that it's announced and everything, I feel that the general sense is they're happy about it," Alexander said of his team's reaction to the 11-race AMA Superbike calendar.
"I feel the guys are happy to go back to (Road) Atlanta." Travel-wise, the season works better than the last couple of years, Alexander said."We're just glad the sked was announced and logistically it looks pretty strong," Alexander said.