9/14/07 - OTSFF has teamed with Biloxi, MS, motorcycle dealer SUZUKI CITY for an assault on the AMA Supercross East Lites series this winter. Suzuki City, the top Suzuki dealer in South Mississippi, is excited about their new relationship with the professional motocross team builders at OTSFF. Suzuki City’s Michael Nasakaitis says “We are Suzuki’s number-one single line dealer, and about 12th overall in the U.S. When Cole Gress at Suzuki got Andre and I teamed up together, we knew it would be a perfect match.”
The new team, officially titled Team SUZUKI CITY OTSFF ROCKSTAR, will launch their attack on the Lites class when the Amp'd Mobile World Supercross GP/Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series U.S Open hits Las Vegas October 12-14. “We were very fortunate to get an invite,” expressed Laurin. “I need to thank Charles Stancer at MXP magazine for helping put that together for us.” Nasakaitis enthusiastically adds “We’re really looking forward to the U.S open, where we can show everyone what kind of Pro team we can put out there. We’re not just some small shop with a truck and trailer!”
“U.S Suzuki in California brought Suzuki City and OTSFF together,” explains Laurin. “They knew we wanted to get something going for the winter, and through American Suzuki we were set up with Suzuki City in Mississippi. Suzuki U.S will provide technical support, through the dealer. The Canadian dealers just don’t have the budget, and Suzuki is pretty adamant about going through a dealership.” Nasakaitis adds “The team is going to be successful, we have some very big plans for the team.
We have great riders on the best equipment we can obtain, with the best team behind them. Andre has a couple mechanics he’s sending down, and one of our guys is in California right now at RG3 to get re-acquainted with how they want their suspension work done. Barring injuries, these kids are going to be in the night show at every round. That’s my goal, and next year I want to pull in some even bigger sponsors and keep going up from there.”
Like OTSFF, Suzuki City is no stranger to racing. “We’ve been in business for 22 years. We’ve never been involved on that level, but have been involved on the amateur end of the sport, sponsoring some of the top guys in our area. And not just motocross, also Enduro, Hare Scrambles, Roadracing…we’ve been sponsoring riders for 20 years.”
Combining a Canadian transportation company and a Southern U.S dealership into a cross-border motocross team makes a unique statement, but OTSFF’s Andre Laurin is positive the joint venture will be a step forward not just for the team but for motocross in general. “This only elevates what we are doing,” says Laurin. “All the sponsors we work with, well, they are all American-based sponsors and it’s so hard for us to show our market. Now that we have a tie in the U.S it will be much easier to make our mark.” Even at this early date the new team has already picked up support from Rockstar, RG3 suspension, One Industries, Suzuki Genuine Accessories and Crew Ware, American Suzuki, Millsaps Training Facility, Beef O'Bradys, PR2, Hindle, Crew Wear, Alpinestars, Hinson, Twin Air, and CV4
When the series heads east, with the first Eastern round at Atlanta, GA, February 23, riders Jimmy Albertson, Willy Browning, Freddy Karrle, Tyler Medaglia, and Justin Sipes and will be more than ready. Millsaps Training Facility has a proven record of producing top riders, including the teams own Freddy Karrle, and were excited to help back the OTSFF Suzuki City team. “This will secure us a training facility as well as a chance for our riders to be trained with one of the best trainers known,” says Nasakaitis. “In return we will be bringing up some of her top students to the team. One good example of her work is Freddy Karrle.” Karrle became a household name at the MX2East Canadian Nationals this year, putting in some incredible rides while overcoming bike damage that would have given lesser riders a DNF.
Is there more in store for team SUZUKI CITY OTSFF ROCKSTAR once the Supercross series ends? “I want to focus 100% of my attention on Supercross right now,” states Nasakaitis. “I want to run some outdoor as well, and I’d even like to venture into Canadian motocross at some point, but right now our focus is on Supercross. This is the sport I love, and I just want to put something back into it.