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Kevin Schwantz Visits Suzuki HQ

Former 500cc World Champion Kevin Schwantz recently visited Japan to take part in the official test for the 2014 Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8-Hours. Schwantz, who last year finished third at Suzuka riding for Team Kagayama, is part of the Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance Legend Racing Team and will ride alongside his 1986 Suzuka 8-Hour partner Satoshi Tsujimoto and Suzuki Moto GP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki.

The Texan also visited Suzuki headquarters in Hamamatsu prior to the test and was met by Representative Director and Executive Vice President, Mr. Yasuhito Harayama and Suzuki MotoGP R&D staff at Suzuki Plaza adjoining the main office, where Schwantz talked about his enthusiasm for the upcoming Suzuka 8-Hour event at the end of this month.

Said Schwantz: “In the Suzuka 8-Hour race in 1986, I finished third with Tsujimoto. I remember that he and I managed fairly similar lap-times, and as we were both fast, we were good enough to win. But so many things happen in a long race like Suzuka and it didn’t quite happen. Now it is good to be back together again after 28 years.

“I always think, whenever I race, my aim is to win. After practice and testing I’ll have a better idea about the race. You always know there will be changing conditions during the race, which is why we will be keeping an open-mind. But we are still hoping for the best and aiming for the win.

“The preparations that I’ve made for this race are the same as last year; motocross and mountain bike riding. Last year I did three or four 600 races in Texas, but for this year I did an AMA Superbike test in Austin.

“Fitness is the most important thing to maintain a good pace in a long race. You need to ride more consistently from start to finish and maintain optimum strength and stamina. Although diet is important, I do now tend to eat what I want to, when I want to.

“At present I don’t have any strategy for the race. First I have to develop a plan for my 24 to 25 laps. The team strategy will be sorted after testing, when we have more information about the machine, such as fuel consumption and tyre wear.

“The key points for success at Suzuka are to be fast, consistent and to make no mistakes, and myself, Nobu and Satoshi will aim to do those things.

“As a team, the pit stops are the easiest places to lose time and I know that Team Kagayama is superior in its pit stop strategy and performance.

“I expect a good test on the track next week and of course the objective of any race is to win!,” he added prior to the Suzuka test.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 08 July 2014 09:10)

 

2014 Suzuki MotoGP Austin Test Report Video

The Suzuki MotoGP Test Team continued development of its 2015 MotoGP machine at the Circuit Of The Americas in Texas, USA mid-April with test riders Randy De Puniet and Nobuatsu Aoki making further steps forward in readiness for Suzuki's return to the MotoGP world stage in 2015.   

 

 

Both riders were joined for the test by Suzuki's 1993 World 500cc Grand Prix Champion Kevin Schwantz and includes interviews with all, along with on-track action.

 

To watch the video: CLICK HERE

 

AOKI JOINS YOSHIMURA SUZUKI ‘LEGEND’ FOR SUZUKA

Suzuki MotoGP test rider Nobuatsu Aoki will join 1993 World 500cc Champion Kevin Schwantz and former All Japan Superbike Champion Satoshi Tsujimoto in the Yoshimura Suzuki Legend Team at the Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance Championship second round in July.   

In celebration of the company’s 60th Anniversary, Yoshimura will also run a second team managed by Yohei Kato - Yoshimura Suzuki Shell ADVANCE - comprising Japan’s Takuya Tsuda and Australian Josh Waters.

Said Yoshimura President and Legend Team Manager Fujio Yoshimura: “I've had many concerns about making the best choice to appoint a third rider for the #12 Legend of Yoshimura Suzuki Shell ADVANCE team for the Suzuka 8-Hour Race. The main concern was the physical condition of both Schwantz and Tsujimoto in the gruelling heat during the race. They are still fit and motivated, but completing eight hours is really tough. Also, even though they have brilliant racing histories and experience, it is not so easy to advance to the Top-10 Trial, so my choice was to pick Nobuatsu Aoki as the third rider.

“He has been racing with Team Yoshimura at the Suzuka 8-Hour for the last six years and there has been nothing to complain about with his performance or reliability in the team. He knows our GSX-R, Bridgestone tyres and the Suzuka Circuit very well, and both Schwantz and Tsujimoto have great respect for him because of his capability and also in helping develop a winning machine!

“It is a great honour to have riders like Schwantz, Tsujimoto and Aoki for Yoshimura's 60th Anniversary race, and it is going to be one of the most memorable events for us.”

Aoki said: “Both Kevin Schwantz and Satoshi Tsujimoto have been my heroes since I was a teenager, and the Team Manager Fujio Yoshimura has been a big name in racing. I am proud to be one of the riders in the Legend Team to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Yoshimura company.

“My duty is leading the team to the victory with my experience, and I will do my best. It will be the seventh time that I have raced the Suzuka 8-Hour in the Yoshimura team and I am honoured that I am also the rider with largest number of Yoshimura appearances in its history.”

Schwantz said: “It is great to have Nobu on the team and I look forward to riding with him. I had to ride against him last year; and now we get to ride with him this year!”

Tsujimoto added: “I am relieved to hear Nobu will be our team mate. Since the Legend team was made, I have been thinking he would be the best rider to race with. He is a reliable rider and I have seen him on the Suzuka 8-Hour podium four times for the Yoshimura team, so he is a suitable rider. I am sure Fujio will be leading us in the best way and Kevin, Nobu and I will show the best performance.”

The Suzuka 8-Hour race takes place at Suzuka Circuit in Japan on July 27th.

 

Kevin Schwantz returns to his early years of wearing RS Taichi Protective Racing Gear

Austin, TX – April 3, 2014 – One of the most notable names in motorcycle racing, 1993 World Champion Kevin Schwantz will once again be wearing RS Taichi leather suits and protective gear.  Schwantz wore RS Taichi gear during several of his memorable seasons in the 500cc class, including time spent in Pepsi and Lucky Strike livery.  His partnership and success with Taichi apparel all started with his victory at the 1988 Daytona 200.  Schwantz took to the track in RS Taichi leathers again for the first time on Monday at the Circuit of The Americas media day, as newly appointed motorcycle ambassador for the circuit.


It has been announced that later this year, Schwantz will pair with his original 1986 Suzuka 8 Hours teammate, Satoshi Tsujimoto, to contest the prestigious race on a special Yoshimura Suzuki "Legends Team".  The Texan has also been known to pop up at the occasional club race, and instructs at his Schwantz School.  So even at age 50, Schwantz genuinely puts his protective gear through its paces.

 

Kevin Schwantz commented, "I am really excited to be riding the Suzuka 8Hour again in 2014 with my 1986 teammate Satoshi Tsujimoto on a Yoshimura prepared Suzuki.  To wear RS Taichi leathers, whose leathers I wore from 1988-1992, for the 8Hour race this year will be great as their hands-on attention, service and support, in Japan is what you have to have for an event like the 8Hour race!"


Hiroshi Matsubara, president of RS Taichi Inc. commented, “We are so glad to have Kevin in RS Taichi racing suits and protective gear again. I worked together with Kevin back in the day and it has been a great memory. It is a great honor to work with Kevin again and can’t wait for the Suzuka 8 Hours to come.” 

Audrey Menarik, owner of Moto Liberty, the U.S. importer for RS Taichi commented, "I've worked hard for the past 6 years to bring RS Taichi back to the level of brand recognition they deserve.  When I heard Kevin was returning to Taichi, I was elated.  There could not be a better ambassador for the American market than Kevin Schwantz.".  In addition to a very long history of involvement with motorcycle racing in the U.S., Moto Liberty also serves as one of the largest motorcycle gear retail stores in the region, and services the growing RS Taichi U.S. dealer network.

About RS Taichi:
RS Taichi has been producing high quality riding apparel for over 30 years.  Founded by former professional motocross racer Taichi Yoshimura, the company is based in Osaka Japan.  RS Taichi offers a complete line of street and track related products, from basic, everyday riding necessities to the very pinnacle of professional level racing equipment.  For the 2014 season, they are the racing leathers provider of choice for such notable American racers as three time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes, Dane Westby, Chris Ulrich, Jake Holden, Michael Barnes, and many others in the world and national championship ranks.

 

For more information on RS Taichi visit www.rs-taichi.com


For more information on RS Taichi's activities in the U.S., visit www.rstaichiusa.com or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RSTaichiUSAOfficial

rs_taichi_20140404_1096392366

 

Photo courtesy of David Swarts / roadracingworld.com

Last Updated (Friday, 04 April 2014 08:03)

 

Kevin Schwantz joins Circuit of The Americas™ as motorcycle racing ambassador

AUSTIN, Texas (March 27, 2014)Circuit of The Americas (COTA) and motorcycle racing legend Kevin Schwantz have amicably settled their legal differences and have reached a new agreement to collaboratively promote motorcycling racing at the Austin circuit and across the United States. Schwantz will serve as an official ambassador for COTA and work to promote the upcoming Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas MotoGP™event set for April 11-13, 2014. 

“Kevin is a great champion and partnering with him gives us an opportunity to learn from his deep knowledge, as well as continue to celebrate his accomplishments,” Circuit Chairman Bobby Epstein said. “Kevin and I have always shared the desire to see him be a part of COTA, and it's awesome to finally see it become a reality. A great American track and a great American champion in the same city can't be kept apart. As a result, casual riders, current racers, future stars and the fans all win.”

"I look forward to being the ambassador for two-wheel racing for COTA, especially as the 2014 MotoGP season begins and returns to Texas,” Schwantz said. “Grand prix motorcycle racing has been my life, and to help COTA market and promote that moving forward is exciting!"

As a COTA ambassador, Schwantz will play a prominent role in a variety of promotions for the upcoming Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americasevent in April, including media availabilities and fan activities. For example, Schwantz will serve as Grand Marshal for the MotoGP race on Sunday, April 13, and will lead the parade laps scheduled for COTA’s personal seat license holders on Friday, April 11, between grand prix practice sessions.

Additionally, COTA will work with Schwantz to raise money for an important charity he supports, the Simoncelli Foundation, which was established in memory of Schwantz’s good friend, Marco Simoncelli, a MotoGP competitor from Italy who will be inducted into the MotoGP Hall of Fame as a MotoGP Legend this May. Simoncelli died after an accident during the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix. Today through Friday, April 4, COTA will donate $1 for every ticket purchased for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas to the Simoncelli Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting humanitarian projects that benefit the disadvantaged.

"I am thankful for COTA's support of the Simoncelli Foundation, a charity that's important to all of us who knew Marco personally and fans that followed his career," Schwantz added. “Marco was a great competitor and a very special friend. Now racing fans everywhere can honor his memory and help a cause important to Marco by purchasing a ticket to Austin’s MotoGP race."

Tickets for the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas start at $39 and are available for purchase at http://circuitoftheamericas.com/motogp/. Children ages 12 and under receive free general admission with a ticketed adult.

Terms of the legal settlement between COTA and Kevin Schwantz were not disclosed.


 

About Kevin Schwantz
One of the most popular motorcycle racers of all time, 1993 500cc Grand Prix World ChampionKevin Schwantz is one of just 20 riders to have earned the status of MotoGP Legend.

Born to parents who ran a Texas motorcycle shop, Schwantz learned to ride at a very young age, and he soon began competing in observed-trials events, where he developed a fine sense of balance. Unsatisfied with the slow speeds in trials, he quickly moved on to hare scrambles, flat track and motocross racing, but following a bad crash at a 1983 supercross race in Houston he began road racing in the competitive WERA series.

Schwantz immediately earned a reputation for riding any motorcycle at the absolute limit, and in 1984 he caught the attention of journalist/racer John Ulrich, who arranged a test ride with Yoshimura Suzuki. That led to a spot on the team in the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) national series the following year, and even an appearance in a Japanese race at Suzuka, where Schwantz finished second.

Schwantz continued in the AMA for the next two years, although Suzuki also sent him to Europe on several occasions for wildcard appearances in the 500cc Grand Prix World Championship. Upon winning the AMA’s season-opening Daytona 200 in 1988, Schwantz was promoted to Suzuki’s grand prix team full time.

The late 1980s and early 1990s are generally considered to be the Golden Era of grand prix road racing, in which Schwantz had epic battles with his arch-rival Wayne Rainey and other motorcycling heroes like Eddie Lawson, Wayne Gardner and Mick Doohan. Schwantz soon attracted a legion of enthusiastic fans who were inspired by his charismatic personality, his aggressive style aboard a bike that was often slower than those of the competition, and his propensity for spectacular crashes.

Between 1989 and 1992, Schwantz finished the season fourth, second, third and again fourth in the final standings, while Rainey collected a trio of crowns. Finally, Schwantz landed the 500cc World Championship in 1993. An injury-plagued title defense saw him finish fourth, and the Texan participated in the first three races of the 1995 season before announcing his retirement from grand prix racing, at which point his racing number, 34, was also retired from grand prix competition. This was the first time in the history of the sport that a rider had been so honored.

Currently seventh on the list of premier-class grand prix race winners, with 25 victories, Schwantz remains a favorite with the fans, many of whom have benefited from his riding instruction at the respected Schwantz School. He was named to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famein 1999 and the MotoGP Hall of Famein 2000.

Still an active racer, Kevin entered the prestigious 2013 Suzuka 8 Hours with Yukio Kagayama and Noriyuki Haga, finishing on the podium. In June 2014, at the age of 50, Schwantz will return to the race with a special Yoshimura Suzuki “Legends Team” that will pair him with Satoshi Tsujimoto, with whom he finished on the podium in the 1986 Suzuka 8 Hours.

Kevin Schwantz Personal Information

  • Birthdate: June 19, 1964
  • Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA
  • Residence: Austin, Texas, USA

Kevin Schwantz Racing Accomplishments

  • First Grand Prix (500cc): 1986, Netherlands
  • First pole position (500cc): 1989, Australia
  • First fastest race lap (500cc): 1988, Japan
  • First podium result (500cc): 1988, Japan
  • First GP victory (500cc): 1988, Japan
  • GP starts (500cc): 105
  • GP victories (500cc): 25
  • GP podiums (500cc): 51
  • GP pole positions (500cc): 29
  • GP fastest race laps (500cc): 26
  • World Championships (500cc): 1 (1993)
  • Last GP victory (500cc): 1994, Great Britain
  • Last Grand Prix (500cc): 1995, Japan
  • AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame - 1999
  • MotoGP Hall of Fame - 2000

 

About Circuit of The Americas
Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas, is the home of world championships and a world-class destination for premium sports and entertainment. COTA has been nominated as the 2014 “Sports Facility of the Year”by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily.  The same publication named COTA’s annual marquee event, the FORMULA 1 UNITED STATES GRAND PRIX, “Sports Event of the Year”for 2013. Additionally, COTA isthe new North American home for the summer edition of ESPN’s X Games.  More than one million visitors come to COTA each year for events such as MotoGP™, United Sportscar Racing, the FIA World Endurance Championships, business and social functions, and more than 20 performances at the venue’s acclaimed Austin360 Amphitheater,winner of Pollstar’s “Best New Major Concert Venue”award for 2013 . COTA’s 1,500-acre campus includes a variety of permanent structures, including a 44,000-square foot Event Center, an impressive Main Grandstand with hospitality suites and the Velocity Lounge, a 270,000-square foot Paddock Building with 34 garages, and an iconic 25-story Observation Tower at the heart of the facility. For more information and downloadable video and photos, visit: www.CircuitofTheAmericas.com, www.Austin360Amphitheater.comor COTA’s dedicated FTP site, media.circuitoftheamericas.com. Follow COTA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CircuitofTheAmericasand Twitter @circuitamericas and @COTAmedia.


 

For more information, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , visit our website   schwantzschool.comor call 512.484.3493. Follow Kevin Schwantz on   Facebook.com/Kevin Schwantz Official Pageand Twitter: @KevinSchwantz.

 

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