Michael Jordan Motorsports will make its on-track debut at the Daytona tire tests January 3, the same day that the team is officially announced, according to several people with knowledge of the tests.
Jason Pridmore, Steve Rapp, and Montez Stewart will share one Jordan Brand-backed, Yoshimura Suzuki-equipped Suzuki GSX-R1000 during the three-day test, January 3-5. The Suzuki will likely run in Superstock trim for the first test. For the 2005 season, Pridmore will concentrate on Superbike and Superstock, with Rapp and Stewart focused more on Superstock, though they’ll also make appearances in the Superbike class.
Gemini Technology Systems, which ran Jordan’s technical crew this year, and prior to that the Harley-Davidson VR-1000 factory effort, will tune the Suzukis. Pete Mauhar will be in charge of the stable of Suzukis.
In addition to Jordan Brands, the team will be backed by Gatorade, and American Suzuki and Yoshimura R&D in a partnership similar to the one Erion Honda has with American Honda. It’s a first for the Yosh team. The team will use Dunlop tires.
The 2005 team increases the involvement of six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan in motorcycle racing. The future Hall of Famer entered this year’s series with Montez Stewart, 30, a friend and club racer from Illinois, aboard Yamahas in the Superstock and Supersport classes. Joining Stewart are Pridmore, 35, and Rapp, 32. Pridmore and Jordan struck up a fast friendship through shared passions, motorcycles and golf. Jordan rescued Pridmore’s team at the eleventh hour when it was clear he didn’t have the resources to finish the final two races of the 2004 season on the Star Motorcycle School Suzukis. Steve Rapp comes over from the Valvoline EMGO Suzuki team where he’s been for the past two years.