A Voltcom Crescent Suzuki generated interview with team manager Paul Denning.
Crescent's new line-up of World Superbike title runner-up Eugene Laverty and reigning British Superbike champion Alex Lowes will take to the track for the first time in 2014 during testing at Almeria on January 16th…
There is a lot of buzz around the team this year with your new racer line-up of Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes. How do you feel about the two new signings?
Extremely positive, but at the same time a sense of expectation is upon the team to deliver a structure and a motorcycle that is good-enough for both Eugene and Alex to display their undoubted talents and their race-winning pedigree.
Alex was a fairly-easy decision to make, as soon as his availability became clear towards the end of the 2013 season. Particularly towards the end of the British Superbike Championship, he displayed incredible race craft, determination and maturity for his age to perform as he did and for me the decision was very, very easy.
We felt that bringing him to the team would only bring us positive benefits and that his development career-wise as a rider, our step-by-step development as a team would be a good match; and we would be able to do positive things together. Alex has already vindicated our decision in the first Jerez tests, he and the GSX-R already appear to have a good relationship and we are excited about the future. We have an option on Alex for 2015 as well and I can't see us not taking it up!
We'd been speaking to Eugene for a good couple of months but to be honest it required more-than just a lot of tenacity and effort to secure his commitment; it also required a decent dose of luck and maybe some other teams and manufacturers being a little-less consistent and focussed in their efforts. It was a huge 'positive' when I got a call saying “great let's do this, no further discussion required, I'm happy to ride a Suzuki in the 2014 championship” but it was rather late in the process and it meant that we weren't able to go ahead with Leon, which was unexpected on both sides.
But, we are here to do our best as a team, for Suzuki, for every sponsor; and for every individual who has put so much effort in over the years, so when you have the opportunity to sign a rider who's just narrowly missed-out on winning the championship, has won nine races and finished on the podium 19 times in the season, there is simply no choice but to make it happen. It's a privilege to have two such fantastic riders on the team, we are already enjoying working together and despite the weight of expectation and pressure, it's a positive pressure and we're looking forward to it.
Alongside the racer introductions there are other new additions to the team structure, so how is the team moulding together and what benefits are you hoping your new staff brings to the overall development?
Part of Eugene's requirement to ride for the team was to bring his own Crew Chief Phil Marron, who is a part of the Laverty family, married to Eugene's sister, and he has worked professionally with Eugene over the years with great success. Phil has experience of the Suzuki, having worked with the TAS British Superbike team a few years back, he's a very easy going, organised and professional guy and has fitted-in seamlessly.