12 August 2015
Crescent waiting on Suzuki as Yamaha shows interest
Crescent Racing will wait on a firm decision by Suzuki on its future plans before deciding to explore alternative options with other manufacturers
Crescent Racing manager Paul Denning says his team has had approaches from both Yamaha and Aprilia about a possible collaboration in next year's World Superbike Championship, but insists Suzuki retains first refusal on his services.
The Crescent outfit has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Suzuki, encompassing campaigns in MotoGP, World Superbikes and British Superbikes, but with the ageing GSX-R1000 losing increasing ground on its rivals on the race track, Denning admits he is consequently considering its future partnership.
As it stands, Suzuki is yet to formally confirm the development of a new GSX-R1000, but Denning says it is on its way and if it is the manufacturer's intention to race with it, it would provide the impetus to continue its partnership in the meantime.
“The first and fundamental point is to make the agreement with Suzuki and understand Suzuki's intention in World Superbikes,” he told the official World Superbike website. “I can't negotiate with any riders until the manufacturer's position is clear, so the first priority is to understand when the new bike is available.
“It is no secret there is a new GSX-R coming, we need to understand when that machine is available to the team and if Suzuki is in World Superbikes for next year. That is the first point to get that organised and we will go from there.”
Should Suzuki – which has returned to MotoGP this season with a fully-fledged manufacturer effort – opts against a formal race programme, Denning says he has nonetheless had interest from other manufacturers, notably the returning Yamaha, for a potential partnership.
“Yamaha, as are Aprilia, are looking for a partner for the future,” he continued. “The budgets involved in World Superbikes for the manufacturers are not what they were in the good old days and I think in general the manufacturers are looking for partnerships for the introduction of sponsorships and running the operational side of the team.
Despite this, Denning says the aforementioned talks haven't gone far and he remains keen to continue Crescent's historic association with Suzuki if it can do so competitively.
“They [Yamaha, Aprilia] have briefly spoken to us and, I believe, to other teams and potentially outside of the championship. Our position with that is we have been with Suzuki for 20 years, so we need to understand Suzuki's situation for the future and go from there. If there are other opportunities, potentially we might look at them, but nothing serious has been discussed.”
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