Mojo Yamaha and Team USA Announce the US Team for the 2020 Phillip Island International Challenge

chill986 Journal

After an auspicious event in 2019, with Josh Hayes taking the top spot on the podium in Race 4 and the US finishing just shy of the winning Australian team in overall points, the team is ready to take the challenge back to the Island Classic in 2020.

Riding for Mojo Yamaha this year on FJ1100s will be Josh Hayes, Larry Pegram, Jordan Szoke, Michael Gilbert,  and Taylor Knapp; and on TZ750s will be Melissa Paris and Dave Crussell.  Rounding out Team USA are Jorge Guerro (Suzuki XR69), Brian Filo (Kawasaki P&M Z1), Joe Pethoud (FJ1100), Bruce Lind (TZ750) and Robert Ruwoldt (Kawasaki Harris F1 1200).

Mojo Yamaha uses machines housed in a CMR F1 frame and powered by engines based on the Yamaha FJ1200, the pinnacle of machine development in this pre 1983 class of racing.

“I am really happy with our team this year, our top three riders from 2019 signed up again for 2020, Josh, Larry and Michael and we have three great “first timers” in Jordan Szoke, multiple times Canadian Super champion, Taylor Knapp and Melissa Paris,” said Dave Crussell, the owner of Mojo Yamaha.

“We have been very busy this year. Our riders gave us good feedback on where the bikes need to be improved from the 2019 event and during the year we have performed extensive testing of these changes. Denis Curtis at CMR has been working on refinements to the chassis to help weight balance and Larry Cook from LCR Racing has been cooking up some more horsepower from our FJ engines. Getting the right balance of performance and reliability is key,” Crussell continued.

“We have been fielding a US team for five years now. In 2019 we were close, but we lost two riders from the points race due to crashes. Without those unfortunate events, things would have been quite different. Our bikes for 2020 are a major step forward from last year and we are very excited about the strength of our rider base. We are aiming for the top podium step for races and also for the overall challenge,” Crussell enthused.

You can follow the progress of the team on