No Rockstar Makita Suzuki for Miller World Superbike

Henny Ray Abrams | May 15, 2009

The Rockstar Makita Suzuki team will not take part in the U.S. round of the World Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park, despite rumors to the contrary.For the past two weeks, rumors on both sides of the Atlantic have been circulating that at least one member of the team would take part in the Miller race. But, despite behind the scenes efforts in both the U.S. and World Superbike, no one bothered to ask the people who mattered most; American Suzuki or their parent company.”We have not been contacted by anybody,” Aki Goto, American Suzuki’s U.S. race boss said under the Suzuki awning at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. “Even Suzuki Japan never contacted me.”The rider most likely to take part would be six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin, who would provide substantial marketing power were he to face off with former rival and teammate Ben Spies, the Yamaha revelation in World Superbike.But the road blocks are substantial. In order to take part, the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team would have had to build at least two race motors per rider, as well as fit other parts more in line with the more liberal World Superbike rules.”The motorcycle is completely different,” Goto said. “We would have to build completely different motorcycles.”The team would also want to test both the machine and tires prior to the race.Then there’s the matter of cost. The team would have to pay 4000 Euros, roughly $5415, per rider for the Pirelli control tires, as well as a $2200 entry fee.

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.