Teka Suzuki WMX1 has made an alliance with the world's leading Energy Drink, Red Bull, in their quest for the 2009 FIM MX1 World Championship. The factory team will compete this weekend in Bulgaria for the second round of 15 in the current campaign with Ken De Dycker and Steve Ramon being part of the Red Bull family.
The deal between the leading Belgian squad - who won the 2008 Constructors world title with the formidable RM-Z450 - and the Austrian brand will see expansion of the strong Suzuki presence at world championship events.
"This is a good strategic move for the team because Red Bull is a very serious and stable partner to various sports in general and in particular to motocross. The partnership fits very well with our long-term vision," said Team Manager and former triple world champ Eric Geboers. "I believe both companies have a very positive opportunity here.
"The association is focussed on the riders, which is standard practice for Red Bull," the Belgian continues. "Furthermore, their hospitality concept has been developed in years and is an extraordinary addition to common marketing activities and adds a lot of value to the sports. We like to progress and as a team we can now work on our next phase which will increase our image and race presence from round four and the Grand Prix of Benelux at Valkenswaard. The paddock is growing year by year and one season ago Red Bull launched their eye-catching Energy Station; now they will support Teka Suzuki to launch another one; the Teka Station. We are very happy to work with that kind of infrastructure and it can only be done with Red Bull. In the end I think it will improve the whole motocross picture.
"The team's ambitions away from the track are growing. It is challenging and both time and manpower, consuming," he added. "We are building up a second backroom team so that we can meet these new demands. It is good to have pressure to keep high standards; we thrive upon that!"
The team are currently on the road to the Sevlievo circuit for the second Grand Prix and the third round in three consecutive weeks with a trip to Istanbul (for the first ever Turkish GP) to directly follow. The fast and wide layout in the depths of Bulgaria is surrounded by some of the best circuit infrastructure seen on the world championship calendar. Ramon, De Dycker and the rest of the team will be hoping to find better weather conditions than in Italy last weekend in which the event was washed out. De Dycker's second position - a result that was a consequence of just one moto after the second was cancelled - was the bright spot in a difficult meeting.
Ramon, who took an excellent holeshot and led the first two laps at Faenza before a bent gear lever caused him to succumb to the muddy terrain, will be hoping to improve on his 2008 result of 4th place at Sevlievo and hunt his first silverware of the fledgling series. "I knew those conditions might have been pretty good for me so I am a bit disappointed I did not score more points and come to this GP with a good feeling. Still, my riding was OK and the start was encouraging so we will look ahead for better in Bulgaria."
"Bulgaria is a similar place to Faenza in that it is hard and fast but if the weather does change then some more lines will come up," commented De Dycker who is currently second in the championship standings courtesy of his Faenza podium appearance. "Sunday tends to be better because the track is rougher. I hope I can make a good race there and prove I can do it on a dry track."