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New kid on the block

So, yesterday we announced that Leon Camier would be joining forces with us to go WSBK racing in 2012. I and everyone at Crescent Suzuki are so pleased with the news because we have all seen first hand his capabilities on a motorcycle. He is without question one of the best young riders on the WSBK circuit at the minute.

We were competing in the same championship with Sylvain Guintoli when Leon won the BSB title and he was simply awesome that year. He ran away with the title and totally stunned the whole paddock – to the point where the championship format was actually changed for the following year to prevent anyone dominating the series in such a manner again. No one could touch him and everyone soon realised he was a world star in the making.

He was then quickly snapped up by the factory Aprilia team and moved up to WSBK where, in my eyes, he did a great job given the circumstances. So for him to join the Cresent Suzuki family is a huge thing for everyone involved and we are eager to start working together. I have also acquired the services of Frankie – Leon’s ex-crew chief from his winning year in BSB and together they give us a great foundation to work from.

So, if all goes to plan, we will be out testing in Portimao at the end of the month to give Leon a run out and get him happy with the bike and familiar with the team. If we can do that then I will be pleased. With the winter testing ban being implemented it is imperative that we work in an efficient manner, both before and after that period, to ensure that we are ready for Phillip Island in February. We don’t have a lot of time!

In terms of who Leon’s team-mate will be; that’s still something we need sort out. I’ve been talking to a lot of riders and we have some great options, we just need to do some more work to agree a deal. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I would like Hopper to ride for us again and that is still a real possibility. The only problem we have is that he does have some firm interest from MotoGP and I nor anyone else would stand in his way if he decided that was where he wanted to be in 2012. We will just have to see. Either way will have a competitive line-up

Away from rider negotiations I’ve also been working hard on a number of sponsorship opportunities, as well as trying to tie up all the loose ends behind the scenes to ensure we go about next year in the correct manner. One thing is for sure, we are not going to WSBK to make up the numbers. I firmly believe that we have a bike and a team that can run at the front and our aim is to do exactly that. Leon has the ability to win races; it’s our job to give him the kit to do it!