Separation a 'mutual decision' according to Suzuki Motorcycles Australia.
KSF Racing has parted ways with Suzuki Motorcycles Australia in the lead-up to the 2019 Australian Supercross Championship, putting an end to an 18-month partnership.
The KSF team released a scathing statement on social media yesterday afternoon, suggesting it ‘dumped’ the manufacturer.
However, Suzuki Motorcycles’ Marketing Manager Lewis Croft has addressed the Instagram post, stating the decision to part ways was mutual after being unable to reach an agreement on a continued level of support.
“We really appreciate what they’ve done for us,” Croft explained to MotoOnline.com.au. “Upon mutual decision with our programs and budgets, we couldn’t agree on a program going forward into the supercross season.
“I’d argue that Suzuki has no desire to grow the sport or support riders as Suzuki invests heavily into the sport by providing the Suzuki Support Rider Contingency program, and for the 2019 supercross championship, Suzuki will pay $50,000 for a championship win and will pay round by round rider contingency payments up to 10th place in the SX1 and SX2 class.
“Jayden Rykers and Cody Dyce were recently rewarded $3000 and $1000 respectively for finishing one and two in the 450cc Victorian Motocross Championship, while in Tasmania Jordan Lovick will receive $3000 cash for winning the state championship riding the Cycleworld RM-Z450.”
KSF Racing hosted a competition at the beginning of the year to make up its rider line-up for the 2019 Pirelli MX Nationals, offering two spots that were awarded to American Justin Rodbell and John Prutti.
Both riders have since departed the team – Rodbell scoring a factory ride at Raceline KTM – while KSF recently confirmed the signing of international Gradie Featherstone. It’s understood the team will search for an alternative manufacturer in the weeks leading up to Brisbane’s season-opener.
“[It’s] not in our best interests to align ourselves with a brand that has no desire to grow the sport or support riders, nor teams that invest heavily into the brand and doesn’t share our values,” part of the KSF Racing statement read.
“While we all agree that there is a downturn in the market, it is not an excuse to use other people’s time effort and money and give nothing back. It is unfortunate, but we will continue as a privateer outfit for supercross and continue to promote those brands who help us, the riders and the sport.
“At this stage, we don’t have a bike to ride, but we will source that in the near future. We are committed to Gradie Featherstone and look forward to this year’s Australian supercross season.”
Suzuki Motorcycles Australia will still be represented by Victorian-based operation SB Motorsports Suzuki ECSTAR in the supercross series, fielding riders Cody Dyce and Josh Brewster.