The booming sport of American-style dirt track racing will feature a full-on Suzuki factory race team in this year’s Shorttrack UK series.
Suzuki are backing Peter Boast in a bid to win the 2007 title in the two major classes. Boast will be racing an RMZ450 single-cylinder four-stroke which has been modified from a standard motocross machine to suit the predominantly quarter-mile oval dirt tracks. Boast will also have a Suzuki SV650-engined flattracker for the Thunderbike class.
Boast is a former BSB racer and a professional speedway rider but has always had a passion for American-style dirt track racing. He’s raced several times in the States and established Shorttrack UK two years ago.
As well as promoting the series, he finished runner-up in the 2005 and fifth overall in 2006 in the single-cylinder class and was second in the new Thunderbike class for multi-cylinder machines up to 1000cc last year.
American-style dirt track racing is one of the fastest growing motorcycle sports in the Europe and is run mainly on 400-metre ovals with up to 12 riders in race and with just a rear brake used for stopping, although this year the British series will feature at least one championship round on a half-mile oval.
Dirt track racing is considered one of the most exciting motorcycle sports in the US, producing some of the best riders in the world such as Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey and today's MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden also learnt his trade on dirt ovals.
A factory team’s involvement in the British series indicates just how rapidly the sport is growing here and Suzuki’s Luke Plummer said: “We've kept an eye on Shorttrack UK and watched it developed through the media. We felt that time was right to enter the series and get ahead of other manufacturers.
“We are confident that the RMZ450 is a great bike to compete in this discipline. It’s already a proven machine in the US with Jake Johnson winning the AMA single-cylinder championship last year."
Also supporting the team are Arai Helmets, AXO Leathers, Silkolene, Oxstar and The Awning Company.
Shorttrack UK kicks of on April 14 at the Norfolk Arena, Kings Lynn at 7.00pm and is also included in the BMF Motorcycle Shows on May 19 and the September 15, where 30,000 bikers enjoyed the racing last year.
Also new for 2007 is the half-mile oval course at Amman Valley Wales, with further rounds at Kings Lynn, Eastbourne and Mildenhall to round out the series.
Check out the dates, venues and the progress of the championship at www.suzuki-gb.co.uk or www.Shorttrackuk.com