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By: Robert Janis

A Q&A with Suzuki Racing

It seems that the top manufacturers of ATVs are involved in some form of racing and Suzuki is included. The company first participated in racing events officially in 2004. The first three years the team was guided by Jeremiah Jones. Kory Ellis became the team manager in the 2007-2008 season.

He started racing ATVs when he was 10 years-old and became a pro at the age of 15. He raced in the ATVA National Series from 1995-2006 in the Pro Class.

ATVSource.com had the opportunity to question Ellis about the Japanese manufacturer’s racing team. This is what he had to say:

Kory Ellis, Suzuki's racing team manager
Kory Ellis, Suzuki's racing team manager

Doug Gust
Doug Gust

ATVSource: How long has Suzuki had a racing team?
Ellis: 2004 was the first year that the team was official. The following season they hired Jeremiah Jones and raced out of a semi.

ATVSource: How do you create and develop a team?
Ellis: Yoshimura and Wayne Hinson created the team along with Suzuki.  I have been very fortunate to start working with a great team, take over as team manager, and help the team keep being as successful as it has been.

ATVSource: What events will the Suzuki team be racing in for 2009?
Ellis: For the 2009 season we will only be concentrating on defending our championship at the AMA pro ATV motocross nationals.

ATVSource: What Suzuki ATVs will be raced?
Ellis: We will be racing the QuadRacer R450 as we have done in the past. It was built to race and win.

ATVSource: Why was that model chosen to race?
Ellis: Suzuki created the QuadRacer R450 (with the help of Doug Gust) as a race-ready motocross machine, designed to compete at the highest level.

ATVSource: How do you recruit your racers?
Ellis: Doug Gust was affiliated with Suzuki before the sport Suzuki was even produced and was instrumental in the conception of the QuadRacer R450. After Jeremiah Jones was injured, Suzuki looked for someone to fill his shoes. Dustin was a young and up comer with a lot of potential and was a perfect fit for the spot.

ATVSource: Do you use racers in the Suzuki R&D program?
Ellis: Some of the changes and new updates on the QuadRacer  R450 come from feedback from the race team. Suzuki also uses their Japan test crew to come up with ideas as well. We all share information that help make a better product for the consumer. This is true for all products that Suzuki races, just like the GSX-R sportbikes and RM-Z motocross bikes.

ATVSource: Do racers go to events to promote Suzuki?
Ellis: The racers sometimes go to events to promote Suzuki.

ATVSource: Do they also visit Suzuki dealers?
Ellis: They also visit dealerships as well to help promote an upcoming race and Suzuki.

ATVSource: Can a dealer request a racer appear at a special event at the dealership?
Ellis: Yes

ATVSource: How would a dealer request a racer appearance?
Ellis: Dealers can contact their district sales manager.

ATVSource: Are there ATVs under development now that will be used by the 2009 or the 2010 racing team?
Ellis: Maybe

ATVSource: What ATV features exist due to the racing program?
Ellis: In reality there are too many to list. The QuadRacer R450 was specially designed for ATV MX racing, and there has been a tremendous influence from Doug Gust. Suzuki was the first to introduce a race ready 450 sport quad in 2006. Since the inception of the QuadRacer R450, it has proved itself on track with endless results on the podium along with two championships. Here are some key features on the QuadRacer R450 that were developed in conjunction with our ATV racing program- fuel injection, t-shaped seat, front & rear fenders, detachable headlight, Kashima coating on front & rear shocks, aluminum cylinder bore is electro-plated with Suzuki's own race proven SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material) for improved heat transfer, lightweight and tighter piston clearance, aluminum sub frame, steel swing arm, high-end suspension, and the list goes on when it comes to the QuadRacer R450.

Suzuki

ATVSource: Do you have a website that promotes the team?
Ellis: Yes

ATVSource: What is the website address?
Ellis: http://www.suzukicycles.com/Racing.aspx and http://www.yoshimura-rd.com/t-factory_suzuki_atv.aspx?v=race

ATVSource: How does a racer inquire about racing for Suzuki?
Ellis: Do your best on the track wherever you race, keep in touch with your Suzuki dealer, and we will find you!


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