Upcoming British racers Steve Brogan, Jon Kirkham and Chris Burns got an exclusive opportunity to ride the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike on Monday September 30th at Donington Park.

Brogan and Kirkham won the chance to ride the highly-developed Superbike by being selected to take part in the Suzuki GSX-R World Cup Final at Magny Cours in September. Brogan finished a superb fourth and Kirkham 13th overall against world class opposition.

Burns didn't make it to the GSX-R World Cup Final but was invited to test the bike by Rizla Suzuki team manager Paul Denning, who has been impressed by his performances in the Performance Bikes National Superstock Championship where he finished third overall.

Brogan, 22, from Liverpool, has been riding in the Performance Bikes National Superstock Championship and European Superstock Championship this year on a GSX-R1000 and finished a close runner-up in the last round at Donington Park.

Commenting on the Rizla Suzuki, he said: "I absolutely loved riding that bike, it was brilliant. The quickshifter, slipper clutch, brakes, slick tyres and suspension were all excellent. It just does everything a bit easier than my own bike and it was real good fun.

"I was backing it into the Melbourne loop and getting it sideways at Redgate on just about every lap. One thing that didn't surprise me was the power. It didn't feel like much more than my Superstock bike, which is testament to how good they are in standard trim.

"On Sunday night when all the end of season parties were taking place, I had to go to bed without any drinks. But when I woke up on Monday morning and realised that I was getting to ride the Rizla Suzuki, I knew it was worth the wait. Afterwards I drove all the way home with a smile on my face."

Brogan is keen to make the break into Superbikes in 2003 but is also tempted to remain in Superstocks and put together a title challenge. Kirkham on the other hand, at just 17-years-of-age, has already tasted life in Superbikes and was raring to try the factory-backed Rizla Suzuki.

"I had about 20-laps on Karl's bike and didn't do anything silly. Compared to my GSX-R1000 Superbike, it just does everything better, from acceleration to braking to turning. It was a good chance for me to test the Dunlop tyres as well. Our team is developing Pirelli tyres by itself and that can be quite a struggle, so it was interesting to get a ride on the Dunlops," said Kirkham from Derbyshire.

Burns, 22, from Newcastle, has been a leading contender all year in the Performance Bikes National Superstock Championship. He said: "That was fantastic. It was my first time on a Superbike and compared with my Superstock machine it was just awesome. The way it steers, it feels really light and the power of the brakes and motor were brilliant. I took it easy, because I would have looked a right fool if I had crashed, but I still really enjoyed it."

Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Paul Denning gave his impressions of the riders, after throwing a leg over the GSX-R1000 himself!

"Steve Brogan in particular was impressive, especially considering he's never ridden a Superbike before. He was sliding around and having fun but looked comfortable the whole time," stated Denning. "While Chris Burns wasn't available to ride in the GSX-R World Cup Final, he is the most talented rider from the Superstock Championship this year and just like the other two he did an awesome job of riding the bike. I had a go on the GSX-R1000 myself and it reinforces just how fit and skilled these riders are. I hope that they progress their careers with Suzuki and I look forward to watching them reach the same sort of level as John Reynolds in the future."

 

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