Rizla Suzuki will join the Suzuki MotoGP team at Valencia and Barcelona during the next 10-days to continue its extensive pre-season testing programme in preparation for the forthcoming British Superbike Championship season.

On Saturday March 8th, the Team Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000s of John Reynolds and Yukio Kagayama will make their debut in their new for 2003 race colours.

They will share the track with Suzuki MotoGP regulars Kenny Roberts Jr and John Hopkins. On the following two days, the Rizla Suzuki squad remains in Valencia testing alongside its main British Superbike rival teams in the first shakedown against the direct competition.

Then on March 12th and 13th, the team moves to Barcelona for another test with the MotoGP team.

"I am excited about these upcoming tests," enthused Team Rizla Suzuki rider John Reynolds. "Getting to ride alongside the MotoGP team will be great. Whether it's advice or technical help, it isn't often that we meet up on track and are able to offer opinions to each other. Hopefully it will be a useful exercise for both teams.

"Some people might make the mistake of saying our first test with our BSB competitors is like the first race of the season. It isn't. We are going to test parts and components on our GSX-R1000s with the sole aim to make them more competitive for the first round at Silverstone. I want to kick off by winning the first race, not the testing."

Rizla Suzuki rider Yukio Kagayama noted: "I like riding with the MotoGP team, they are my friends. I hope we can help each other if we have any problems or need assistance. It will also be interesting to see how our Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 measures up to the GSV-R prototype racer.

"Valencia will be my first time on track with the riders I will be racing with during the season in BSB. I hope to learn about some of them while I am there, but most importantly, I will be busy getting comfortable on the bike. I don't plan to bash fairings with anyone until the first race."

Team manager Paul Denning commented: "Getting the opportunity to share track time with Suzuki's MotoGP team is brilliant. There are close ties between our two teams and we get on very well. The amount of assistance we can offer each other is limited, but it certainly helps when you have a few more friendly faces around the paddock.

"The test against the other BSB teams really is the start of the season in earnest. Later in the month we start racing, so we want to get as many testing laps under our belts as possible. It will also let us see what development and progress our competitors have made in the off-season and focus our minds on areas to work on ourselves."

The British Superbike Championship's first race is on March 30th at Silverstone in the Midlands.



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