gotten some more information relevant to the story below since posting
it, although we still have not had our inquiry call returned from
Canadian Kawasaki apart from a rather short email questioning if CMG
was now "an on-line gossip magazine?", which we gather to be a rebuttal of the story unto itself.
We did manage to get a hold of Colin Fraser of Professional Motorsports
Productions (which runs the national Parts Canada series) who told us
this afternoon that, contrary to the information we’d previously
received, as of yesterday Canadian Kawasaki indicated to him that they
still planned to participate in the 2010 series.
Fraser, as the series organizer, should certainly know what’s
happening, but so should our original source. We won’t really know
either way until Canadian Kawasaki makes a formal announcement.
CMG (that’s G for Gossip) will keep you posted as soon as we know anything more …
Current economic times continue to plague the racing world, in Canada as elsewhere. The latest bad news North of the Border is that, following Yamaha’s withdrawal from the national Parts Canada series last month, Suzuki appear to be set to follow suit.
There’s been an official announcement from Blackfoot Motorcycles in Calgary, which has been the official Suzuki team for the last seven years, to the effect that Blackfoot and Suzuki will no longer have a racing relationship.
The Blackfoot announcement also said that the company planned to continue racing with current team management Picotte Performance of Granby, Que, — run by former racer Pascal Picotte — and teenage phenom rider Brett McCormick of Saskatoon, Sask. Unfortunately for Canadian fans, at this point the team’s focus is south of the border, and plans for Canada in 2010 haven’t been announced.
Suzuki has yet to comment on the Blackfoot announcement, so there’s no information at this point if they’ll be involved in the series in 2010 at all.
Meanwhile, a "usually reliable source" told us Wednesday that Canadian Kawasaki is folding its tents. Riders Jordan Szoke and Alex Welsh have been released from contracts, and the racing department has been disbanded and all employees laid off. (SEE NOTE ABOVE)
We’ll provide more details when we’re able to get confirmation (or denial) from Canadian Kawasaki.
At this point, BMW Motorrad Canada is the only official factory entry in the 2010 series, with the new S1000RR superbike, to be ridden by former Canadian champ Francis Martin (with the Blackfoot Suzuki squad) and Mike Ferreira.