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New rider, new bike, new sponsor and ready for action

There's a sense of expectation and excitement, calmed by experience, in the Worx Crescent Suzuki team as the last days count down to the Easter weekend's (10/11/12/13 April) opening round of the 2009 British Superbike Championship season at Brands Hatch.

Led by the incomparable Jack Valentine this is a highly professional, factory-backed team boasting some of the most experienced technicians in the BSB paddock. And coming off the 2008 season, where with Tom Sykes the team enjoyed three wins and no less than 11 podiums, it's evident the team know what it takes to keep a bike and rider at the head of the pack.

New to the team this season is their sole rider, the rapid Leicestershire-based Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli. An escapee of the MotoGP paddock, Guintoli's speed is to be respected. This may be his first ever season in a production-based class but he's already shown in testing that he can lap as fast as, if not faster than, many in the BSB paddock.

Also new is the 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000. Featuring an all-new chassis and motor, the team have subjected the new GSX-R to no less than nine days of winter testing on three tracks in Spain, with Sylvain each day notching up enough laps to equal at least five BSB races. And the test results have been extremely encouraging, Sylvain and the GSX-R together looking very competitive indeed.

The team also has a new title sponsor for 2009 in the form of Worx, the power tool specialists. Worx are a brand we should all be familiar with by now as they have taken over a substantial market share in the UK tool market, combining innovative, quality products with savvy pricing. To have Worx aboard, and confirmed for two seasons, makes this an even more exciting start to the season.

Sylvain Guintoli: "I am really ready for Brands Hatch and the first races of the season. I have been prepared for my debut since we completed the last test in Spain and I know that the Worx Crescent Suzuki is well prepared for this weekend. We have a good base setting and with the extra day of testing on Good Friday we will be able to get out on circuit and make some small adjustments to the settings ahead of the races. For sure I am feeling confident, we need to get a good start and then go from there."

Jack Valentine: "Obviously with the economic climate over the winter there has been a focus on cutbacks, for us and throughout the BSB paddock, and no question we're a physically smaller team this year. But I'm very happy with the team we have and I'm happy to say we've maintained the budgets where they count. We completed as thorough a programme of testing this winter as we ever have and so while we have a brand new bike I'm very confident that already we have a competitive package. There's still work to do, but from a team point of view we're well set-up and ready.

"With a competitive bike and with a rider in Sylvain who's both genuinely fired up and willing to do the hard work, we're looking forward to a good performance at Brands. Two podium finishes and a bagful of points would make us very happy."