Yoshimura: Not Racing Not An Option
Last week's news that Blake Young has been released from a contract—to presumably ride the Superbike class in 2009—put a great many suppositions in play.
The major supposition regarding Wisconsinite Young is that he will ride for Yoshimura Suzuki in 2009, exactly where his riding coach and friend, 1993 world champion Kevin Schwantz, did when he raced in America.
But how exactly that is going to be accomplished will be interesting to watch. Yoshimura ran three Superbikes in 2008 and could do so again, but with American Suzuki pulling race support in nearly every area because of the economic slowdown, insiders suggest that Suzuki will race just two Superbikes in 2009.
Currently Suzuki have three riders signed to race the Superbike class: Mat Mladin, Tommy Hayden and presumably Blake Young.
While Yosh' seems to be in the same boat as the other Suzuki teams in waiting to hear from the Mothership what their support package will look like for 2009, even if Suzuki completely pulls their support, Yoshimura will race.
Yoshimura has raced the AMA Superbike series nearly since its inception and has built Superbikes from ex-streetbikes before and undoubtedly will do whatever they have to in order to be on the grid at Daytona. Yoshimura execs refused to completely buy into that notion last week but did say that they would race to support their extensive aftermarket product line.
Will it be with three riders, though?
There have been rumors for weeks that Suzuki will race with Tommy Hayden and Blake Young in 2009. Where does that leave six-time AMA champion Mat Mladin? Rumors suggest that Suzuki is considering paying Mladin not to race or buying out his existing contract.
Mladin, reached by e-mail over the weekend, and asked if rumors of Suzuki paying him not to ride or buying him out of his contract were true, replied. "No comment".
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