From the Desk of Mike Webb: Team Suzuki’s Off-Road Report

photos by Jason Hooper.

Just got back from the east coast swing for the first two GNCC’s. I’ve got to admit I’m pretty stoked; the Team FMF Suzuki boys really stepped up and proved that we are ready to get that number one plate back.

Our goal going into the year was to have Rodney put the guys through boot camp and have them in shape before the season started. Well that’s exactly what he did and everybody showed that they are more than ready. Jimmy Jarrett was awesome in Florida, he gated around 10th, but steadily pushed his way up front and finished second overall. Jimmy said he gave it everything he had and he was truly spent up on the podium.

Thad Duvall
Dominated the XC2 class winning by nearly 6 minutes.

Charlie Mullins had to overcome a mediocre start, but he started pushing to the front, then he crushed a pipe and lost a lot of time trying to make it back to the pits. We changed the pipe and he took off and the next lap set the second fastest lap behind Knighter. Unfortunately after that he stuck it in a mud bog and sucked water; he was still able to make it to the finish.

Our resident Kiwi Paul “The Whibs” Whibley was great all day, he got wrapped up in some track banners and lost time and energy getting his bike out, but Whib’s kept it pegged to the finish and came across the line in 5th.

Jimmy Jarrett
JJ was a little off, yet fought hard for his fifth overall position.

Josh Strang was really disappointed; he was the fastest all week in testing and was chomping at the bit to go racing. Unfortunately his tire came off the rim, not because of a failure with Dunlop, but because of an installation issue.

Nathan Kanney
KTM’s newest racer battled all race with Mullins and ended up second overall in Georgia.

Our guest celebrity Travis Pastrana actually got into the lead but the pace and the conditions as well as his lack of seat time took a toll. Travis told me he was puking all night after the race, I know he was disappointed with his results, but Travis true to his word gave it everything he had.

Charlie Mullins
A great start, a tough battle and keeping his machine in one piece paid off for the newest Suzuki teamster.

We cleaned up the bikes and the rig and headed straight to GA. for testing prior to the next round.

Race day dawned frigging cold, but perfect race conditions. Charlie and Kanney both took off and gapped the field. Charlie made his move into the lead and never looked back. He would pull out a gap and then Nathan would close back in, it all depended on how they got through the lappers. I was so pumped for Charlie’s victory, there has been a lot of speculation about Charlie and his switch to Suzuki and I think his victory pretty much shut everybody up.

Paul Whibley
Despite being attacked by meat eating ants, Whibs pushed his fuel injected RM-Z to a fourth place finish.

Jimmy struggled a little in GA. I think he might have still been feeling the effects of the Fl. race, he rode by himself for a while until Josh Strang came up and passed him and then he got going eventually passing Josh back right before the finish.

Joshua was fantastic, he ran about 10th, before putting his head down and then he started raging, moving all the way up to 5th, before Jimmy slipped by at the finish. This kid is the real deal, he is so strong and I know with one great race he will realize how good he really is.

David Knight
The Knighter rode pretty much like a normal human and took home third overall.

And what can I say about the Whib’s, this guy is unreal, in testing he is always a tick off the pace and it’s hard to tell if he has it. Then the race starts and this completely other guy shows up and just pins it. Paul’s 4th overall was so cool; at one point he was catching Knighter, but then settled in for his finish. On a side note, right before the start of the race, Whib’s was putting on his jersey when he suddenly pulled it off, his upper body was riddled with ant bites, and I mean huge ones. He changed jerseys and when up to the line. I asked him if he was OK and he just looked at me and said “There is nothing I can do about it now”. This is one gnarly dude.

All in all it was great, the team is so solid and Rodney has done a fantastic job in getting everybody ready.

I’m off to Havasu for round 3 of the WORCS, I’m bringing Josh Strang in to ride Nathan’s bike with hopes he can get some points, so when Nathan comes back we can grind out wins and get back into the points.

That’s it,

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