HOMETOWN: Fort Lauderdale, FL
RIDER: Hunter Hewitt
YEARS WRENCHING: 2
PAST RIDERS: Ian Trettle, Nick Paluzzi
For the past few seasons, Jason Rosete has been spinning wrenches for the Rockstar Suzuki team. Last year, he jumped from Ian Trettle to Nick Paluzzi mid-season, but in 2012 he has been solely concentrating on Hunter Hewitt. We recently got a chance to photograph Hewitt’s bike and Jason was there to give us the full rundown on what goes into building Hewitt’s machine to compete at the highest level of the sport. As anyone would imagine, anything and everything is massaged and custom made just for the rider.
As is the case with most factory-level machines, testing and development play a huge role in building a bike capable of running at the front of the pack. “Jamie Ellis does all the in-house motor development and we do have a Dyno, which he spends hours and hours of time at doing a lot of R&D,” Rosete said. “Even though we have great motors this year, he's still spending time trying to improve them and make them even better. It's always evolving. Jamie will spend a lot of hours trying new cams or new timing, and every once in a while we'll come across a new idea and he'll spend hours trying to perfect it on the Dyno.”
Not only is the motor tweaked and fine-tuned to the utmost peak of performance, but the suspension is as well. Rockstar Suzuki receives a lot of support from Showa. In fact, the team receives so much support from Showa that none of the suspension work is done in-house, and for the most part, only minor changes are done throughout the year. “We go out and test at the beginning of the year, and Scott from Showa helps us out,” Rosete said. “Once we get the base settings finished up at the beginning of the season, we really don't make any big changes. Even at Daytona, it was the same suspension with just a few adjustments. The suspension guys have it working pretty well.”
What’s Hewitt the most picky about? Rosete says his brakes. “He likes his brakes to come on suddenly and grab hard,” Rosete said of Hewitt’s brakes. “We're running the Galfer Tsunami light rotor in front, which was developed just this year. We did a little bit of testing for Galfer to help develop that rotor and Hunter really likes it. It's a 270mm front rotor, and to go along with it, we're running the most aggressive pads that Galfer makes. The master cylinder and caliper are stock, but are very well bled and come that way from Suzuki. We use Bel Ray brake fluid in the brakes as well.”
Check out more photos of Hewitt’s machine in the gallery below.