What a difference one year can make. Going into the 2011 AMA Superbike season, Blake Young was recently recovered from a debilitating back injury and had just celebrated his first-ever AMA Superbike victory. Now, heading into the 2012 season, Young is in a completely different place.
The Yoshimura Suzuki rider finished up second overall in AMA Superbike last year and captured an impressive seven victories. Furthermore, he picked up a pole position and five additional podium finishes en route to the end of the 2011 season. All of these experiences have combined to make the 24-year-old rider a veteran of the sport in which he was recently considered a mere rookie. The result is a smarter, more savvy racer whoís looking forward to the upcoming season like never before.
"Even though I was disappointed that we didnít win the championship last year, my confidence is much better going into 2012," said Young. "Last year, I changed my approach to racingÖ My goal was to finish every race and put in the best effort that I could. If that meant I was at the front, then great. But it was more important for me to finish the race than it was for me to be up front. By focusing on just finishing every race, I found myself in the championship hunt. Thatís what I learned last year and thatís what Iím going to implement this year. Thatís what youíve got to do if you want to be competitive in the championship."
When it comes to winning Superbike championships, Yoshimura Suzukiís Pete Doyle is The Man. Formerly crew chief for seven-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin, Doyle is now crew chief for Blake Young and he is also the team manager.
TEAM MANAGER AND CREW CHIEF, BLAKE YOUNG
His background is extensive and impressive. Doyle started off in the motorcycle industry in Australia, working for a manufacturer for more than two decades (he started in the parts department as a teen). By the early 1980s, Doyle was a World Grand Prix and motocross mechanic, and from there he moved up to being a road race team manager and motocross team manager in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In his time as a manager in Australia, Doyle collected 11 road race championships, a Suzuka 8 Hour win, nine motocross championships and four Supercross Masters titles. Mladin asked Doyle to come Stateside to be part of his crew in 2000, and Doyleís been part of the legend since then.
Going into 2012, Doyle looks forward to continuing his relationship with Young as well as overseeing the entire team. "Iíve enjoyed working with Blake," said Doyle. "He has come a long way as a racer and last year he learned some difficult lessons. Our goal for Blake, and also for the entire team, for 2012 continues to be simple: to win."