BSB: Rizla withdraws as Crescent Suzuki sponsor

Fag paper giant drops Crescent Suzuki after seven years of sponsorship

RIZLA has decided to exit the British Superbike arena after seven successful years which have included many race victories and one British Superbike Championship in 2004. Alison Williams, Rizla Brand Manager said:

"After seven years we have made the difficult decision to end our sponsorship of the Suzuki BSB team. I would like to thank all the past and present team members and riders for such a successful sponsorship. We wish the team the very best for the future."

Related: 2007 Rizla GSX-R1000 review

Crescent, which operates the Rizla Suzuki Superbike team, has already confirmed it will contest the Championship in 2009 with French MotoGP racer Sylvain Guintoli. Crescent managing director Paul Denning said:

“We thank all at Imperial Tobacco for Rizla’s support over the last seven years; we have enjoyed a very close, proactive relationship and achieved great success on and off the track. Rizla Suzuki’s British Superbike team will be remembered as one of the most colourful, successful and popular teams of the decade and that is in no small part due to Rizla’s enthusiasm as a sponsor. Crescent will continue with its BSB activities and we are grateful for the full backing and support of Suzuki. Obviously, there are pressures upon a team when it loses its main sponsor but we are actively discussing alternative opportunities. British Superbikes has been enriched by the Rizla Suzuki era and now we will move forward and write a new chapter – one we hope will be steeped in success, starting with new signing Sylvain Guintoli and the awesome 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000.”

Yasuharu Osawa, Managing Director of Suzuki GB said: “We thank Rizla for its long term support for Suzuki GB’s official Superbike team. We look forward to achieving success with the team as it competes in 2009 with our full support.”

Rizla Suzuki will make its final competitive appearance at the Race of the Year at Mallory Park in Leicestershire this Sunday, October 19th, with Tom Sykes aiming to make it three victories in a row for the team at the annual event. From 2002 – 2008 the Rizla Suzuki Superbike team scored one British Superbike Championship, one Manufacturer’s Championship, 23 race wins and 58 podiums. It also took one World Superbike pole position and two podiums. Thanks to all riders who have worn the Rizla Suzuki colours: John Reynolds, Karl Harris, Giovanni Bussei, Nick Medd, Jon Kirkham, David Jefferies, Yukio Kagayama, Gregorio Lavilla, Richard Britton, Scott Smart, James Haydon, Shane Byrne, Steve Plater, Jurgen Van den Goorbergh, Cal Crutchlow, Chris Walker, Jenny Tinmouth, Atsushi Watanabe and Tom Sykes.