Suzuki announced its intention, earlier this year, to host a 2002 Worldwide GSX-R Cup, a new motorcycle racing Championship designed to find the best new riding talent from around the globe.

The Cup final at Magny Cours in France on September 14th will see participation from 18 of Suzuki's worldwide distributors and Suzuki G is to send three hot upcoming UK riders to compete on its behalf.

The criteria for selection took into account British championship positions after round eight at Knockhill for riders who had registered for the GSX-R Cup, age and level of team support.

All Suzuki riders were invited to register and of those registered, the selection panel which included the defending British Superbike Champion John Reynolds, Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Paul Denning and three-times British Superbike Champion Niall Mackenzie considered that the following riders should represent the UK:

- Jon Kirkham, aged 17 of Ockbrook, Derbyshire. Currently competing in the British Superbike Championship on a Suzuki GSX-R1000, as a replacement for an injured Grafters Race Team team-mate. Jon, however, is a points scorer this year in both Superstock and Superbike classes and therefore eligible for the GSX-R Cup.

- Ross McCulloch, aged 23 of Dalmellington, Ayrshire. Ross has contested the British Superstock championship on a Suzuki GSX-R1000 on behalf of ETI Racing. His fourth place in the championship at the selection cut-off point made him a clear favourite for the Suzuki event.

- Benjie Cockerill, aged 21 of Saltash, Cornwall. A Junior Superstock Suzuki GSX-R600 rider, Benjie rides with Beowulf MotorSports Team. His closely fought fourth championship position made him a popular choice to represent the UK.

With a prize fund of $10,000 available, the racing is set to be fast and furious, especially as all competitors will race on identical brand new Suzuki GSX-R750 machines. Qualifying sessions start on Thursday 12 September and the first race kicks off at 5.30pm on Friday 13th. The second and final race, which precedes the Bol D'Or 24-hour endurance race, takes place at 11.25am on Saturday.