How does it feel to be signed up to the Rizla Suzuki team?

Tom Sykes:
It is fantastic. I couldn't ask for anything more, it is a brilliant manufacturer in my eyes and the team is wonderful. We are here at Mallory Park and just had our first shake down test. I couldn't ask for more, I'm getting on great with my team, PJ my mechanic along with Simon and Stuart - it's great. I think it is a good atmosphere we've got going on and it has been a good few days. Time-wise and feel-wise, the whole package has gone superbly and I'm pleasantly surprised.
How did the deal with Rizla Suzuki come about?

Basically my contract ended with Paul Bird at the end of October. Suzuki was interested in me, which is lovely and they approached me. I told them the situation with Paul Bird, that nothing can be done until the 1st November, then come 1st November there was nothing solid on the table apart from the Rizla Suzuki. In my eyes I saw it as a fantastic opportunity at this stage in my career. I've taken it with both hands and I'm going to do my very best to do the business. These few days I've had have been fantastic and I feel the bike has great potential and I'm looking forward to getting on the way now.
What was it like riding the MotoGP bike out in Valencia?

Absolutely fantastic, I can't thank Paul Denning and his Rizla Suzuki team enough for that experience. The whole experience was fantastic, to have an hour slot on a bike like that when people were only getting two laps on it was great from my side of things. I felt quite privileged, the whole day I had with them was fantastic I thoroughly enjoyed it. Basically I spent he day with the team and had a couple of meals with them in hospitality and it was a nice friendly atmosphere which is something to look forward to.
Are you looking forward to meeting your new Japanese team-mate?

I've seen some interviews that he has done and he seems to have a good sense of humour which is great. Everyone here has a good sense of humour and it is a good team environment. It should really work well; I'm looking forward to getting our preseason testing underway. I just need to finalise things with Jack Valentine our Team Manager, he has a lot planned which is great. The bikes are ready to go, we have already been on the 2008 engines these couple of days and it feels really strong. Can't wait to get things underway.


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