After three years racing in the World SuperBike paddock MIST Suzuki Racing are coming home.
After being all set to return to European racing for a fourth season the team realised that the best place to further Matt Bond’s career was back in the UK and have opted to compete in the British SuperBike Championship. This will put the team against the largest and most successful teams in the country but everyone is confident of a positive first season back in British racing, particularly as they are also eligible for the British SuperBike Cup Championship, sponsored by the Daily Star, and aimed at Privateer teams with no factory support.
Team Manager, Mike Edwards, was particularly upbeat and commented:
“Matt and the team last raced in the UK on a Suzuki SV650 back in 2005. After three years racing in Europe and competing with the best young riders in the world we are looking forward to taking the next step with a move in to the SuperBike class in the British Championship. Fresh from our recent test of the new GSXR1000K9 we are confident of doing well in the SuperBike Cup, despite not having long before the first round, and have put together a strong team to build and run the bikes for the season ahead.”
It is a big jump for Bond who has demonstrated his talent by progressing from a 72 horse power Suzuki SV650 through the European SuperStock 600 class and the FIM SuperStock 1000 Cup to a 200 horse power SuperBike in just three short years.
Matt was eager to get back on a bike after a successful test in Portimao recently on one of the first GSXR1000K9s in the country. Everything moved so quickly that the bike was still in road trim with lights, mirrors, etc. yet he was still capable of lapping just 1.8 seconds off the SuperStock lap record set in November last year.
Not phased by the prospect of riding a SuperBike Matt said:
“It’s great to come back to Britain after racing in European Superstock for the last three seasons. It’s definitely going to be a huge learning curve for me, but it’s a challenge that I’ve been working towards with Mike Edwards and the MIST Suzuki team. I am sure that once we get a good base set-up on the new bike that we are going to make good progress and demonstrate what we have learnt since we last raced in the UK. Both the team and myself are determined to get the best results possible and I believe that we can run at the front of the Cup class and score some points in the main Championship.”
The team are busy ordering parts and stripping the new bikes as part of the preparations for the season. They are still looking for a number of potential sponsors, including a title sponsor for the season, and are keen to speak to organisations that are interested in supporting their 2009 campaign. Mike Edwards said “We are sure that the comprehensive package of satellite and terrestrial television coverage will work in our favour and attract new sponsors who would like to promote their brand across the country. Each race weekend will have between four and five hours of track time, including the two 30 minute races that are the highlight of each race meeting.”
Everyone would like to thank their existing sponsors for supporting their change of plans: GPR Steering Dampers, Leo Vince Exhausts, R&G Racing Protection and Steve Jordan Motorcycles.