2018 Suzuki Support Racing Programme

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds


Suzuki Australia had recently made two big announcements that are directly related to the all new Suzuki RM-Z450.

The first announcement was that a new rider contingency program would be put in place for 2018, allowing national and state level riders who choose to race the current generation RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 (and also Suzuki's GSXR road racing models) to claim some significant cash with top results.

Suzuki then announced a national ride day tour exclusive to the all new RM-Z450.

However just after these two announcements, Suzuki Motor Corp, made the unexpected announcement that Suzuki would be suspending its involvement as a factory level team in both the World Motocross Championship and the All Japanese Championships, the two series that are widely used for real life racing development of all Japanese manufactures bikes electing to focus on the AMA Supercross and Motocross championships with production based RM-Zs.

The good news is Suzuki Australia have confirmed that the world MXGP and All Japanese decisions have not impact on what happens here in Australia and both programs that have been put in place for 2018 will be running ahead as planned.

With this in mind we caught up with Suzuki Australia’s Marketing Coordinator Matt Reilly to get a little more information on what is involved in both the Suzuki Racing Program (SSR) and the rapidly approaching Suzuki RM-Z450 ride days.
The 2018 Suzuki RM-Z250
Fullnoise: How did the concept come about to put in place the Suzuki Support racing program for 2018

Matt Reilly: We wanted to introduce a market leading program in Australia by opening up our prize purse to more than a select few riders. With the introduction of all-new GSX-R1000 and RM-Z450 we saw it as the perfect fit to launch a program that incentivises racers to purchase and compete on Suzuki equipment and be financially rewarded for their results.

Fullnoise: It has been a number of years since Suzuki Australia have had a national contingence plan like this in place, what were the main reasons for re-introducing this concept again for 2018.

Matt Reilly: As above its part of our launch strategy for our new road and off-road racing models. We wanted to introduce a program to cover a broader audience of riders, expanding to disciplines and championships where we previously have not had a large presence in is also important for our brand.

Fullnoise: The SSR includes a very wide range of events, including the national motocross and Supercross championships, the 2018 AORC series and some of the nations biggest off-road events including Finke and Hattah, why the decision to open the SSR to so many events?

Matt Reilly: The rider participation, crowds and media exposure from events such as Finke and Hattah is huge, in recent times we’ve seen entries fill up within 15 minutes! The AORC series is stable and has a good following, we felt we simply had to put something on the table for riders competing in these events as well as the championships we’ve traditionally competed in such as Motocross and Supercross.

Fullnoise: The SSR does not stop at a national level and also includes state level motocross and supercross classes, how important was it for Suzuki to include the state level racing as part of this program

Matt Reilly: Very important, collectively there’s more riders that compete in the State championships than there is in the National ones, we also see them as an important stepping stone to the pro ranks. State racing is more grass roots and has a higher level of dealer involvement also.
The 2018 SSR program streches beyond the dirt and includes the current GSXR models for the road race guys and gals.
Fullnoise: Will the program stretch to state level Enduro / Off-road championships in 2019

Matt Reilly: Naturally a program like this is primarily designed around increasing sales of our RM-Z and GSX-R products. We’re launching SSR supporting the popular championships and events that will generate the most exposure for our brand. We’ll be continually monitoring and evaluating the disciplines and championships we support through SSR as we develop the program in coming years.

Fullnoise: The first thing that popped into my mind with the state level championships was will it cover all grades of racing or will riders need to compete at the top level of a state championship. Does the SSR allow riders to claim contingency for all grades and vet titles?

Matt Reilly: SSR at a state level will cover to highest level of senior racing in 250cc and 450cc classes.

Fullnoise: Along with the 2018 SSR programme, Suzuki Australia have announced a national ride day program, giving riders a chance to try the 2018 RM-Z models before they buy. From my memory this is the first time Suzuki have done something like this, how excited are you to be able to showcase the new bikes to potential customers by allowing them to ride them one local tracks across the country.

Matt Reilly: We’re really excited to be launching the 2018 RM-Z Ride Days customer come and try events on a national level. Last year we held ride days in Toowoomba and also one in Victoria, both were great events so we knew with the 2018 range, especially the all-new RM-Z450 we had to tour the country.
Head to Suzuki Australia's website for your chance to ride the 2018 Suzuki RM-Z450 at a local track near you.
Fullnoise: Tell us a little about the logistics that go into organising these ride days and moving a fleet of Suzuki motorcycles across Australia in order for customers to have a chance to ride them.

Matt Reilly There is definitely a fair amount of work that goes into putting on events like this, we have a team of five people that will be flying across the country to run these events. We’re fortunate to have a great team here at Suzuki and a fantastic dealer network supporting the initiative. We’ll be bringing some of our fleet along and our dealers will be bringing their demonstrator units as well.

The morning will consist of a product training session with our dealers, then they’ll have the opportunity to experience what they’ve learned firsthand on the track to really understand the features and benefits of our range.

Customers will arrive shortly after for sign-in (12:15-12:45) we’ll have riders briefing then get straight into the test ride sessions from 1:00 to 4:00pm.

Everyone has really got behind it and we just can’t wait to kick off the tour come November 15th.

Fullnoise: Tell us a little more about the tour and how people can get involved and what the days will involve.

Matt Reilly: To get involved is really easy, just head over to our website >> and register for the event you wish to attend. The Ride Day itself is free and participants can also bring their own bike along to ride in between their test ride sessions.

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