It was all looking so good. After being fortunate enough to find Chris to salvage our 2007 season the experience obviously did him good as he went on to successfully win the South African SuperSport 600 championship.
Our plans for 2008 had begun to come together in the middle of the season when we agreed to run Matt and Chris again in 2008. We were soon joined by another South African, Sheridan Morais, who opted to run with us after a season with the well established Pedercini team. Even Suzuki South Africa were on board with support in the form of supplying bikes and other goods to help our 2008 season.
Everything looked rosy until the final round when we found out that the organisers only wanted teams of two for 2008. Doh! We did persuade them that having two teams of two was a good idea so we set about looking for a fourth rider.
Having spoken with a few candidates we began working out a deal with a rider we thought would fit well with the team. Not easy and a potentially difficult situation, having spent so much money to plug the hole in the 2007 budget, it was looking impossible to do a deal for 2008 despite doing my best to subsidise the cost, probably more than I should have.
I thought we had reached an agreement, or were close to it, as the deadline loomed only to get a phone call from the WSB organisers asking whether all my riders were actually riding for me after all. Rather frustrating to find that at the same time the sponsor that was enabling us to run Chris and Sheridan had pulled out.
In the space of one day our four rider team had been reduced to one rider. At least Matt Bond is still on board and F G Sport have been good enough to confirm MIST Suzuki Racing would be racing in 2008 with a two rider team in the FIM SuperStock 1000 class at World SuperBikes.
The hunt for a second rider is back on and preparations begin in earnest in January to buy, build and set up the bikes, buy and fit out the new race truck and embark on our planned testing schedule.
Oh, and somewhere in amongst that lot we need to keep on with our search for sponsorship as it is vital that we get as much track time as possible before the season starts and during the year.