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WSBK 2011 Preview - Suzuki

22 February 2011

It was a three-time race winner and title contender in the hands of Leon Haslam only last year, but those high points already seem a distant memory when you look at Suzuki's meagre presence on the 2011 World Superbike grid.

Indeed, as successful as its 2010 title bid almost was, Suzuki apparent 'lack of interest' (for interest, read funding) drew sharp criticism from many, not least Francis Batta's Alstare team, who were noble enough to release Haslam from his contract to aid his career despite not being obligated to do so.

Even so, Suzuki and Alstare head into the 2011 season in partnership once more, though the WSBK programme will ape MotoGP in entering just a single GSX-R1000. As such, out goes Haslam and Sylvain Guintoli and in comes Michel Fabrizio.

With financial help from Infront rumoured to be keeping both Suzuki and Fabrizio in the series, while the current set-up is a shadow of its 2005 title-winning self, we should at least be thankful that the marque is still operation in any capacity.

While the smaller garage is hard to ignore, Fabrizio and Suzuki are still capable of challenging at the front this year, The GSX-R1000 is a proven package and – on his day – Fabrizio is a reckoned force too.

It remains to be seen whether he will thrive as a Suzuki soloist, but then it only takes one man to win a race…


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