News 2 Feb 2010

AMA SBK: Michael Jordan to field Yates and Zemke in 2010

Basketball legend Michael Jordan has confirmed that he will continue with his Michael Jordan Motor Sports wteam in this year’s AMA Pro Racing American Superbike Championship, signing returning rider Aaron Yates and Jake Zemke aboard Suzuki GSX-R1000 machinery.

Yates and Zemke will ride the team’s Jordan Brand and National Guard sponsored entries, Jordan’s team marking the third top Suzuki team in the series alongside Rockstar Makita Suzuki with Tommy Hayden and Blake Young, as well as M4 Monster Suzuki with MotoGP refugee John Hopkins.

“Suzuki has proven that the GSX-R is still the bike to campaign in Superbike,” said Kreig Robinson, Michael Jordan Motorsports vice president of corporate relations. “Gemini Racing and our team have done a great deal of development in order to get the most out of the motorcycle for racing. Suzuki provides us with an excellent platform.”

Suzuki has been a partner of Michael Jordan Motor Sports since 2005, providing motorcycles and OEM parts.

Yates joined the Michael Jordan Motor Sports team for the 2007 racing season after winning titles in the 1000cc Superstock, 600cc Supersport, 750cc Supersport and SuperTeams classes.

The Georgia native has also earned 43 AMA National victories, four wins in the AMA SuperTwins (Harley-Davidson 883) class and four wins in AMA Super-Teams Endurance competition. Yates, who clinched the 2008 AMA Superstock Championship, earned his 18th Superstock win, surpassing former Jordan Suzuki rider Jason Pridmore as the second winningest rider in class history.

In 2009, Yates reached the podium six times, finishing as high as second in the American Superbike class.

“We consider Aaron a franchise member of this organization,” said Kreig Robinson, Michael Jordan Motor Sports Vice President of Corporate Relations. “Aaron turns in consistent performances year after year, making him an easy choice for our Superbike program. Our crew has been hard at work over the winter, and we’re confident in Aaron’s ability to turn in a Championship season in 2010.”

Zemke, 34, finished sixth overall in the 2009 Daytona Sportbike Championships, visiting the second step of the podium twice and making 14 top ten appearances. Zemke was the 2008 AMA Formula Xtreme Champion.

“We’re extremely proud to welcome Jake Zemke to our organization,” continued Robinson. “It’s not often that champions become available. We have always admired Jake. He’s a fan favorite and always professional.”

The series will commence at Daytona International Speedway next month.