AMA Sportbike: M4 Suzuki Signs Westby
AMA Pro Racing
There are some changes at Team M4 Suzuki, which won the 2010 Daytona Sportbike Championship with pilot Martin Cardenas.
The Colombian Cardenas has moved to AMA Superbike with M4, where he will compete on a Suzuki GSX-R 1000. And as for his vacancy in the Sportbike class, Team Hammer, which races as Team M4 Suzuki, has signed Dane Westby for the 2011 season.
Westby, who raced for Project 1 Atlanta Yamaha last season and finished the season in fifth overall, will now defend the title M4 Suzuki claimed with the GSX-R 600 last season.
Dane Westby (M4 Suzuki Sportbike) says: "I’m really looking forward to the Daytona test and getting to ride the Team M4 Suzuki. I’m really excited for the new year and this deal coming together is great. My goal is to make 2011 the Year of The Wolverine.
"Team Hammer and (team owner) John Ulrich have been in the racing game for a long time and they know what is needed to put a competitive team out there. They won the championship last year and that speaks for itself.
"They were already there and getting the job done when I raced my first AMA Pro event, and that means a lot to me, as does their endurance racing success. Suzuki has a new model for 2011 that is lighter and stronger and that is another positive."
Westby, 23, of Oklahoma, finished second in the 2010 Daytona 200, which was his first podium in the AMA Daytona Sportbike class. Westby also earned podium finishes at California Speedway, Infineon Raceway, New Jersery Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park, Alabama.
Dane Westby says: "The 2010 season was a big improvement for me as I was able to run up front and learn what it takes to stay up there. That time at the front is precious and there’s no substitute for it.
"This year, our goal is to win the championship and the way to do that is to stay in the top five and win when you can. I’m gonna take it race-by-race and the first one up is Daytona. I got a nice trophy for second place in the Daytona 200 last year but we’ll be looking to improve one position on that and to start the season off the right way."
Keith Perry (M4 Suzuki Crew Chief ) says: "We’re looking forward to having Dane on our bike this year. We’ve seen how he’s come on in the last year and even before. He has the ability to run up front and our goal is to have him up there every week. As a team, we have a lot of experience with the 600cc Suzuki and our goal is to use that to help Dane continue his improvement. It was great that he was available and we were able to put a deal together with him."
As the Sportbike class is ready for action again with Westby, Cardenas will join Chris Ulrich (son of team owner John) in AMA American Superbike aboard the M4 Suzuki GSX-R 1000.
Keith Perry says: "Naturally, we’re really looking forward to having Martin on the Superbike as well. We think he’s one of the very top talents in the paddock and we’re anxious to see him on our big bike.
"Sure, there will be a transition period but when we first saw Martin in AMA Pro he was racing a 1000; we know him well and we’re supremely confident in him and what he can do. As a team, our challenge is to give him the equipment he needs to compete."
The AMA Pro Racing season throttles into 2011 at Daytona (March 10-12).