MIST Suzuki will be forced to miss the seventh round of the ViSK.com British Superbike Championship after rider Matt Bond announced his immediate retirement from motorcycle racing.
Bond has raced with the team since 2005, competing in the FIM Superstock 1000 as recently as last season before choosing to switch to the British Superbike Cup in 2009. However, Bond has cited personal reasons for his decision to bow out of the team prematurely.
"Obviously I am disappointed to be leaving half way through the season before fully getting to grips with the bike. With all our bad luck this season it has been frustrating not to be able to show our potential, particularly with the accidents that haven't been our fault and the many crucial performance parts that have been promised but still haven't arrived".
"Having to work five or six long days a week just to live plus having to make up any time missed for racing leaves little or no time for going to the gym or doing much else. Despite a change of jobs the problems have built up over the last year or so and eventually got to the point where something had to give.
“Unfortunately my passion for racing has suffered during this struggle to the point where I don't feel able to give my best any longer so feel it time to bow out now.”
Coming after scoring their maiden BSB Cup podium at Snetterton, MIST Suzuki had already been forced to miss the Knockhill round, but they will now also skip Mallory Park as they search for a new rider to take Bond's place.
"We are really sad to see Matt leave as he has grown up as part of the team over the last four and a half years,” said team manager Mike Edwards. “There are only a handful of riders who have raced in Europe, qualified at the front of the grid and achieved top ten finishes against factory teams. Not only has Matt competed at the top level of International racing he has worked hard to develop several competitive race bikes along the way and demonstrated his immense talent for all to see".
"There have been many achievement during this time, lapping within 0.5 seconds of Leon Haslam and being just 0.5 seconds behind after an 80km race at Almeria stands out, as does qualifying in front of Michael Schumacher at Magny Cours and taking a road going GSXR1000K9 to within 1.8 seconds of the Portimao Superstock lap record all stand out.
“My biggest regret is that Matt has not been able to fully demonstrate just how good he really is at the top level of competition and we are sorry to see him retire when he has come so far and is now so close to where he deserves to be.”