Phoenix, Arizona - Team FMF Suzuki Off Road came to round one of the WORCS Series and went home with two Pro podium finishes for the strongest start of the season.
In the Pro 1 class FMF Suzuki Off Road’s Nathan Woods took his best-ever season opening finish by charging his way to a third place podium. Woods, a 2-time WORCS Champion, usually starts slow and comes on strong in the second ½ of the series, but for 2009 Woods decided it was time to start of swinging. “I’ve been training with Rodney Smith and we’ve got the RM-Z450 working really well thanks to Team Manager Mike Webb. This is my best finish in the season opener ever, but I’m ready to win races right now. So I’m happy with a podium, but we’re just going to keep moving up from here,” said Woods. Nathan earned his podium with a come from behind charge late in the race where he posted some of the fastest lap times on the track to move into third at the checkered flag.
In the Pro 2 class, Jonathan Davis took his FMF Suzuki Off Road Team RM-Z to a second place finish. Davis got the holeshot and battled with a tough field of Pro 2 riders all day, dropping back as far as fourth and then charging back into the lead several times. In fact, it looked as though Davis had it won until late in the race when a bobble in the Endurocross section dropped him temporarily and allowed the second place rider by. Davis put on another charge, but ran out of time and had to settle for second. “I thought I had it won, but I know I can beat these guys. It’s a long season and I’m real happy to start off with a second.”
Plus, West Coast Team Coordinator, Coach, Trainer, and Mechanic Rodney Smith entered two classes – the 30+A and 40+A (Rodney is 44) and won them both. So, Rodney (Suzuki’s 5-time GNCC Champion) is now leading two classes of the WORCS Vet Series.
Team FMF Suzuki Off Road Season Highlights
Nathan Woods – 3rd Place, Pro 1; WORCS Round 1
Jonathon Davis – 2nd Place, Pro 2; WORCS Round 1
Rodney Smith – 1st place, 30+A; WORCS Round 1
Rodney Smith – 1st Place, 40+A; WORCS Round 1
About Team FMF Suzuki Factory Off Road Racing
Since 1992 Team FMF Suzuki Off Road has been the most successful racing program in modern off road history. Over the years, the team has competed in National Enduros, National Hare Scrambles, Grand National Cross Country, and World Off Road Championships and has amassed an incredible 21 championships during this time. In 2008 in the prestigious Grand National Cross Country series, Team FMF Suzuki captured 13 out of 13 podiums, 5 overall victories and swept the podium 2 separate times. Out west in the World Off Road Championship series our number one rider was injured in the second round, but came back from injury late in the year to capture an overall at the Honey Lake, California round.
For 2009 we will have Charlie Mullins and Josh Strang campaigning the potent RM-Z450s in the woods wars. Both riders had overall victories and a slew of podiums. These young guns of the GNCC’s are poised to take the ’09 championship. Both riders will operate out of the Team FMF Suzuki Factory Off Road semi based in Indiana and will be under the guidance of former Golden Wrench award winner Shane Nalley. Out west we will have Nathan Woods and Jonathan Davis on board their RM-Z’s with the goal of capturing the Pro and Pro Lites championships. Nathan is the Winn ingest rider in WORCS history and is set to get his crown back. Jonathan is in his third year of the Lites and is ready to take the number one plate. Both riders will be guided by 12-time AMA National off road champion Rodney Smith. The WORCS team will operate out of the west coast team transport based out of Calif.
Team Personnel Riders
Mike Webb - Team manager Joshua Strang
Shane Nalley - East coast race coordinator Charlie Mullins
Rodney Smith - West coast race coordinator Nathan Woods
Chris Wolf - East coast technician Jonathan Davis
James Davis - West coast technician