Suzuki Motorcycles Australia has addressed its decision to withdraw factory involvement with Team Suzuki Ecstar in the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) from 2020.
Suzuki has since released a statement regarding the decision to step away from the ASBK paddock with a factory presence, indicating a change in marketing strategy will see it focus on a broader range of motorcycle sectors.
“The racing program was created just days after the world launch of the all-new GSX-R1000 in February 2017 at Phillip Island to reinforce Suzuki’s philosophy of ‘Own the Racetrack’,” part of the statement read. “A challenge was set to win the Australian Superbike Championship.”
“Fast-track [to] 2020, Suzuki Australia will look at new marketing programs that reach our customers. Australia and global western markets show two key growth segments for Suzuki’s large capacity road motorcycles being naked bikes and adventure bikes, thus Suzuki Motor Corporation is producing exciting new models such as the KATANA and V-Strom 1050.”
Team Suzuki Ecstar debuted in 2017 as a single bike program with Josh Waters aboard the then-new GSX-R1000, going on to clinch his third-career championship that season. Last year saw the team expand to two riders with Waters joined by Mark Chiodo, before this year it was Maxwell, Waters and satellite rider Alex Phillis who formed the squad.
Waters and Maxwell initially signed two-year deals with Suzuki at the beginning of this season, however, the pair will now be seeking new seats to remain in the championship for 2020.