Stauffer to partner Abe at Suzuka
Yamaha’s reigning Australian Superbike and Supersport champion Jamie Stauffer has been selected to partner Norick Abe at the iconic Suzuka 8 Hour event next month.
The standout competitor on the national road racing scene eagerly accepted an invitation to test with the Yamaha Y-Gear Factory Superbike Team at the renowned Japanese circuit last week, and was trialled alongside US factory star Jason Disalvo. The team was so impressed with Stauffer’s performance that he was offered the co-rider position immediately, with engineers commenting on his ability to adapt ably to a new bike, track and conditions.
Across the course of the 2-day test, Jamie actually helped current World SBK campaigner Abe to improve his setup at his home track, an amazing feat and a sure sign of the Aussie’s talent.He lapped consistently from start to finish, posting times around 0.1 seconds shy of the lead rider on the 2007 YZF-R1.
Stauffer, who then returned to Australia to blitz the time sheets at a local pre-round Superbike test, was wrapt to be offered the ride and looked forward to riding alongside Norick.
“This is a great opportunity and I’m very excited to be involved with the YMC Team and riding alongside Norick Abe, who is a renowned as a fierce and successful competitor in World Superbikes,” said Stauffer. “The testing session allowed me to get a good feel for the Y- Gear developed R1, and make some positive changes which helped the setup and handling for both Norick and myself.”
“It’s known as a very physical race, and with 50 minute stints it will definitely require me to find new limits, but I’m confident I’ve got what it takes to do well here.”“Thanks must also go to the continued support of Yamaha Motor Australia who have made the opportunity possible.”
He will return for a second comprehensive test session following rounds 6 & 7 of the Australian Superbike Championship in early July.
Yamaha Racing Team Principal John Redding said it was fantastic to see Jamie’s talent rewarded with such an opportunity. “Jamie has shone as Australia’s best rider for the past few seasons and this test has shown he is clearly capable of matching it with the world’s best,” said Redding.“We are glad to have been able to open this door to him through our close and valuable relationship with the YMC and are committed to providing him with, and all our riders, with the best possible resources in order to advance their careers.”
The Suzuki 8 Hour is an endurance-style event, where riders alternate and change tyres every 50 minutes. It runs from 11.30am through to twilight at 7.30pm, with riders pushing the physical limits to consistently lap the challenging 5.864km circuit.
The climate in the northern hemisphere at this time of year is warm, but increasing in intensity toward their peak summer where it will be hot and humid. Stauffer's pre-event training will include a specialised hydration program, and sessions in humid conditions.
The Suzuka race is held over the last weekend in July (28th and 29th) and is one of the biggest and most highly regarded endurance road racing events in the world. It is an event where local Japanese motorcycle manufacturers showcase and test new developments with their race product.
Over the past 2 years, Yamaha Motor Australia have restructured their Australian race program to ensure a broader range of career opportunities for loyal and talented riders both locally and on a global scale.
Jamie’s appointment to the Yamaha factory Suzuka team for 2007 is evidence of Yamaha’s solid global racing program and demonstrates how talent can be rewarded.
The local racing program caters for riders at the grassroots level through the Yamaha Junior Development team program right through to the premier factory teams across both road and off road disciplines.