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No rest for Rizla Suzuki

THE Rizla Suzuki team has been working hard during the Christmas period under the watchful eye of Chief Engineer, Lez Pearson, as it prepares for the 2008 British Superbike Championship which commences at Brands Hatch on the 6th April.

43-year old Pearson is also Crew Chief to Atsushi Watanabe, Rizla Suzukis newly signed two times Japanese Superbike Champion. He has a wealth of experience to impart to the team as he enters his third season with Rizla Suzuki and his fifth overall with Suzuki.

The Rizla Suzuki squad took to the track for the first time in early December 2007 at Calafat in Spain. Our first test was a shake down for our new riders, Tom Sykes and Atsushi Watanabe, he explained. Although the GSX-R1000 hasnt changed we have new bikes for 2008 and we have been developing the engines.

Rizla Suzuki is happy with the amount of power that the race bikes are producing and is now concentrating on making that power more user friendly.

As well as the engine work the team has been developing new Showa suspension. Pearson said: Our next test is planned at the end of January. It will also be our first time out on Pirelli tyres since the Championship has moved to a control tyre. Im not concerned about the change in tyre manufacturer after all you have to work with the tools you are given.

Pearson is excited about the season ahead and isnt daunted at the prospect of working with a rider who at the moment has limited English. Tom is finding his feet within the team and it is exciting to work with Watanabe, he enthused. Ive got previous experience of working with a Japanese rider as I worked with Yukio Kagayama. The language barrier isnt a huge problem, it just loses you some time when the team is testing. By the time racing starts it wont be a problem. Yukio had limited English at the start but that soon changed!

For further information on the Rizla Suzuki teams progress, go to www.rizla-suzuki.co.uk.