Suzuki hosted a big shindig at its corporate headquarters in Brea, California today to celebrate one of the most successful seasons in motorcycle racing history. It was a bright moment in these times of corporate hardship, and Suzuki management made the most of it, inviting the entire company to take part. Rockstar Energy got in the right spirit and even paid for everyone’s lunch.
      The stars of the show were the standout athletes who made it a very impressive year in racing. At the top of the list was AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin who won yet another crown in 2009 and will be calling it quits. It marks the end of the most dominant career in the history of American road racing. Chad Reed was honored for his gutsy victory in 450cc National motocross. Ryan Dungey took bows for his 250 National Motocross championship and Dustin Wimmer celebrated his ATV championship. Altogether, it makes an amazing string of success for Suzuki.
      What about the future? No one could announce anything official, but it was clear that Suzuki will be back in the racing game next year despite the dark economy. ‘We’re still waiting for signatures, but it looks good,’ said motocross team manager Roger DeCoster. ‘It looks like none of the Japanese companies is pulling out of racing. If one did, the others might follow. But it doesn’t seem like that will happen.’
      But for the most part, there wasn’t gloomy talk today–it wasn’t the time or place. Suzuki set all that aside to say thank you to the riders and teams that gave them such a great year of racing.
Chad Reed was the man of the hour.
Ryan Dungey takes the time to sign autographs for the rank and file at Suzuki’s headquarters.
The perpetual trophy for the AMA 450 MX championship is now called the Edison Dye Cup. Reed gets to keep it for at least a year.
The 250 Champ gets to keep the AMA’s ‘Gary Jones Cup’ for a season. Dungey’s name was just added to it.

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