Rizla Suzuki's new silver GSX-R1000 race bikes will start from the first and second rows of the grid for Sunday's 12th and final round of the 2003 British Superbike Championship at Donington Park.

John Reynolds took fourth place on the front row while his teammate Niall Mackenzie will start directly behind him in eighth on the second row. While JR was disappointed not to have challenged Ducati's Shane Byrne for pole position, Mackenzie was delighted with his eighth place in his first competitive outing on track for more than two years. The 42-year-old Scot has come out of retirement for this round to replace Rizla Suzuki's regular rider, the injured Yukio Kagayama.

Rizla Silver will be launched in the UK on October 1st 2003 and the Rizla Suzuki Team is competing in all new Silver livery this weekend to mark the event. The product is thinner and finer than ever before and packaged in premium Silver packaging to reflect the brand's innovative and contemporary position in the UK rolling papers market.

Superbike racing starts at 1:15pm on Sunday, with both Rizla Suzuki riders having a busy morning before the action starts. They will be taking two Black Horse Motorcycle Finance winners for pillion rides in the morning before the team debuts a Rizla Suzuki Radical Race Car on track. Mrs Bev Hauxwell from Darlington bid ?500 through www.motorcyclenews.com for the chance of a passenger lap in the car with all proceeds going to the Steve Hislop fund.

"I haven't really got going yet this weekend and it is very frustrating," said Reynolds. "It's always the same with me at Donington, I don't get on the pace until race day for some reason.

"My Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 is going great. It is quick and the set-up is good as well. Today we worked on tyres, suspension and rear rim size and have found a good package. Tomorrow I need to ride the bike harder if I'm going to win and to be honest, that's all I'm interested in doing."

"I am pleased with eighth place on the grid, it is about right for the time I've had on the bike," added Mackenzie, who has spent the entire season thus far commentating on the BSB action for Sky Sports. "Every lap is letting me build confidence in the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 and I am finding that there is more to come from me as a rider rather than looking at any changes on the bike.

"Through Craner curves I am losing a bit of time but I'm right on the pace everywhere else. There's plenty of grip and power in the bike, I just need to ride it a bit more aggressively and there's nothing like a race situation to get the adrenaline pumping. I might not have raced for two years, but I am still a racer at heart and come tomorrow I'll be going for it and hope to beat my qualifying position."

"I am impressed by both our riders today, I think they have done a fantastic job," continued Suzuki's national sales manager Andy Pringle. "JR is on the front row and has the inside line for the first corner, which means if he can get his trademark good start, then he has a chance to make up places right from the start. Niall is right behind him and if he can follow JR into the first corner he'll be doing well.

"It is great to see Niall racing again. Despite the Championship being already won, Niall's entrance to this round is drumming up a lot of interest and the fans will be here in their thousands to cheer him on. I'll be supporting them both and hoping Suzuki can end the season with another win!"

 

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