Team Hammer, Inc. is pleased to announce that Valentin Debise will return to the team to compete in the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North America Road Racing Championship in 2018.
Debise will once again pilot an M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 as he sets his sights on the MotoAmerica Supersport crown.
"It's always good to stay with the same team, especially one where you feel great and have a lot of confidence in the crew," said Debise. "This will be my third year with the team, the bike, the tires, and the tracks, which puts us in a strong position. The team has worked hard to improve the bike, and some of the rule changes for next season look good for us on paper. We won't know exactly where we stack up until we get out on track, but everything appears to be going in a good way for us. I really feel we have an opportunity to improve and fight for the championship in 2018."
In just two seasons of racing in America, 25-year-old Debise has established himself as one of the most gifted, thrilling, and accomplished competitors in the paddock.
Valentin Debise (53) will spearhead M4 ECSTAR Suzuki's assault on the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship in 2018. Photo by Brian J Nelson.
Expectations were high from day one for the Frenchman, who came to the United States and joined Team Hammer with an impressive resume that included stints in the 250cc Grand Prix, Moto2, Supersport, and Endurance World Championships, along with a title in the French National series.
Debise has lived up to those expectations and then some. Showcasing both his versatility and ability to immediately adapt to new venues, Debise has already stood on the podium at every venue on the MotoAmerica calendar, despite his relatively brief time competing Stateside.
During his rookie MotoAmerica season in 2016, Debise finished third in the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship on the strength of a victory, five runner-ups, and 11 total podium finishes.
He further elevated his performance in 2017. Again finishing third in the Supersport title fight, Debise upped his season tally to two wins, six runner-ups, and 14 podiums in all.
"Of course, our team is excited to compete with Valentin again in 2018," said Team Hammer VP of Operations/Talent Scout Chris Ulrich. "He's a great talent and shows confidence in every situation. As a former racer, I admire that. He also has a strong drive not only in his racing, but in his training and testing. He has a fantastic approach, a fearlessness that we really like, and his hard charging approach has made him a fan favorite."
For 2018, Debise and his crew will not be satisfied with anything less than another step forward in their attempt to bring the Supersport Championship back to Suzuki.
Technical Director Keith Perry added, "Our team has a rich history in 600cc racing with Suzuki. We've been winning races and championships with the GSX-R600 for years, so we feel we understand the machine and its continuous development. Last year, we had four wins and 25 podiums on the GSX-R600 and we think things are improving. Competing with a top rider like Valentin is an integral part of the total package."
About Team Hammer
The 2018 season will mark Team Hammer's 38th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 68 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 190 times, and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 135 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races), 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles, and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running "Methanol Monster" GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.