Reigning British Superbike champion John Reynolds has justified his decision to pass up a move to the world stage by claiming that his title defence will be tough enough.

The Nottingham rider, who switched from the winning Reve Red Bull Ducati squad to Crescent Suzuki for 2002 after the former decided to move up into the WSBK, pointed to the arrival of Virgin Yamaha rider Simon Crafar as just one reason why the new campaign will not be an easy one.

Crafar replaces the Team Foggy-bound James Haydon in the Yamaha squad and, according to Reynolds, underlines the British series' claims to be the best superbike championship outside of the WSBK.

"The challenge is going to be immense," he insisted, "This year, we've even got Crafar all the way from New Zealand - and he's won grand's prix on a Yamaha. I believe that [the BSB] is one of the best shows in the world at the moment, and I'm proud to be part of it. I can't wait to get on with the season."

As well as highlighting Crafar's return to top-flight competition, however, Reynolds also pointed to young Suzuki team-mate Karl Harris as a potential threat.

"The guy's a future world champion, no doubt about it," he said of the reigning British Supersport champion.



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