Suzuki Preview Broadford MX
Team Shift Motul Suzuki will feature a re-shaped line-up for the 2007 Australian Motocross Championship with the departure of US import, Timmy Weigand and long-awaited return of hero, Daryl Hurley.
Former Australian Champion, Hurley is set to make a big impact as he returns to the competition for this weekend's opening round at Broadford (VIC), returning to the national racing scene for the first time since suffering a devastating knee injury while leading last year's Australian Motocross Series.
Weigand has withdrawn from the Australian Motocross Series, returning home to California for personal reasons, following a successful run with Team Shift Motul Suzuki in the 2007 Australian Supercross Championship which included several Pro Lites race wins aboard the RM-Z250. As a result, Team Shift Motul Suzuki's Luke Burkhart will now switch from the Pro Open class to pilot the all-Suzuki RM-Z250 in the Lites class for the 10-round motocross series.
Kicking off at the State Motorcycle Sports Complex in Broadford (VIC) on Sunday 15 April, the 2007 Australian Motocross Championship Series is set to deliver 10 rounds of white hot racing action with Team Shift Motul Suzuki at the forefront.
JAY FOREMAN – TEAM SHIFT MOTUL SUZUKI
"It's a great boost to have Daryl back in the team after nine months out of action.
"Daryl led last year's motocross championship all the way to round eight when he injured his knee – that's a tough way to lose a championship and he definitely has unfinished business to take care of this season.
"It's very disappointing for Suzuki to lose Timmy from our line-up; he had some fantastic races on the RM-Z250 and was getting stronger and stronger at every race meeting.
"The new all-Suzuki RM-Z250 is a very important model for us and it's critical that we have a top racer showcasing it on the track and, fortunately, the strength of our remaining rider line-up has given us the flexibility to make that priority a reality.
"Luke has done a great job for Suzuki aboard the RM-Z450 and I'm confident he will again be a championship contender in the Lites class this season."
DARYL HURLEY – TEAM SHIFT MOTUL SUZUKI
"I'm really excited to be back for the Australian Motocross Championship. It's been a long nine months out of action and I'm sick of waiting & practising – I'm ready to race!. I've done a lot of preparation and have been training hard, but practising alone is never the same as racing so I want to see where I'm at in relation to the rest of the field. We've been out testing the '07 RM-Z450 – particularly new suspension – and I'm pretty happy with our bike performance so far."
LUKE BURKHART – TEAM SHIFT MOTUL SUZUKI
"I'm looking forward to riding the 250 – and I'm out to win the championship. "It's a whole different bike to ride; you have to push the 250 a lot harder on than the 450 but it isn't quite as physical to muscle around for a full moto.
"As always there's a lot of quick guys in the 250 class, but having got myself to a competitive level in the Open class for the last couple of seasons, I fully expect to be at the front of the pack in Lites.
"I'm one of the bigger guys in the field so I need to trim off some weight for the smaller bike; I'll have to make some changes to my training regime and be more disciplined than ever this season.
"I've only had a day out riding a stock standard RM-Z250, and we haven't had a chance to go testing with my new racebike yet… we still need to dial in the suspension and gearing to suit me.
"We shouldn't be too far off the mark with my settings, but for the first round we'll feel it out and try to get two solid finishes out of the day.
"These things have a way of working out… with Daryl on the RM-Z450 and me on the 250, Suzuki has a really strong chance to take out two championships this year."