Hot on the heels of the news that JD Beach has re-signed with Yamaha for the 2018 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship comes the announcement that the man expected to be his biggest competition for the title has also re-inked a deal with his team. That man is Frenchman Valentin Debise and that team is the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki squad, the same team on which he finished third in the 2017 MotoAmerica Supersport Series.
"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.
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.