On Wednesday, September 20, the whole gang met at the JGRMX conference table inside the race shop in Huntersville, North Carolina. Suzuki’s new factory racing operation, Autotrader.com/Yoshimura—operated by Joe Gibbs Racing, had logged nearly two weeks of nonstop testing to merge Suzuki’s works parts with JGR’s technology, riders, and staff. Suzuki’s staffers were now heading back to California and Japan, though. They would have to figure out how to keep the communication lines open once the tests were complete.
“We started the meeting at 8 a.m.” says Chris Wheeler, Suzuki’s motocross manager. “When were done, it was really, really late. I looked at my watch—it was 1:30 a.m. We really had a lot of work to do.”