Hello from John Reynolds!

FIRST of all let me say hello to all the readers of www.crash.net.

I only bought my first computer two weeks ago and already I am hooked on www.crash.net - and my own team website www.rizla-suzuki.co.uk. I am a real dinosaur when it comes to technology but even I know good sites when I see them.

Anyway, I will be writing here after every race meeting and I have just returned to Nottingham in the motorhome from a very satisfying weekend at Silverstone and the first round of the British Superbike Championship.

I won a race and finished third in the other and I am leading the series for Rizla Suzuki, which is all pretty good news. But I am under no illusions; yesterday was a very hard day of work for my Rizla Suzuki team and me.

We have been working hard all winter on developing the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 into as fast a bike as possible and it is just as well. We finished at Donington last September with the bike to beat, we've improved it in just about every area and then found this weekend that both Honda and Ducati have also improved dramatically during the off-season.

What the first weekend of racing has taught us is if we want to win the BSB title, we will need to be continuously developing our Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 from race to race and I will need to be on top of my game every weekend.

Some people say that it must be difficult for me to maintain my motivation after racing for so long and having won the Championship twice before. Yesterday I did my talking on track and hope that answers any questions or critics. In race one I was trying to get past Kiyo when I nearly crashed in the damp conditions - twice. I used my experience and took the third place finish. In the second race I led from lap two until the chequered flag and withstood an enormous amount of pressure from both Honda riders during the race. To win you need to be prepared to deal with that sort of pressure and it was the pair of them that ended up making mistakes and not me thank goodness.

Well, saying that, I nearly made a mistake at the last corner of the first race. My tyre was sliding a lot and coming on to the start finish in front of the crowds, I was power sliding for a long distance. So when I got there and was approaching the finish line, I thought I'd play up to the fans a bit and do a very long slide. I pulled out of the corner started sliding and it came round real quick.

It was one of those places where I had been sliding all race and all of a sudden I was about to chuck myself over the bars within sight of the chequered flag. I managed to save it, but even in my helmet with earplugs I heard the crowd exhale!
I am enjoying my riding more than ever now and the power sliding is all part of that. Our Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 is so easy to ride and has so much horsepower that it is proper good fun. I also know I am riding faster than ever before and as long as I am doing that, I'll keep up the power-slides where I can.

I'm taking nothing for granted and while Brands Hatch Indy on Bank Holiday Monday April 12th is my favourite circuit, I know if I am going to stay ahead of my series co-leader Michael Rutter then I will need to be riding just as aggressively and confidently as yesterday.

Brands Hatch is also Sean Emmett's home circuit and it will be tough to beat him there. I think our Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 has an edge on the competition and is still the fastest bike on the circuit, but with no main straight at Brands that might make the whole playing field more even. Hopefully I'll see a few of you there and will let you know the inside story after the races.

On a final note, I read on www.crash.net about Rossi leading the official test times for MotoGP at Catalunya. Hats off to the guy, he has enormous talent and I think that series is going to be fantastic in 2004. Especially if they keep hitting 215mph down the straights - a few years ago that was unheard of. MotoGP really is taking over from F1 for excitement and characters and after testing with those guys at Valencia, I can tell you they are seriously loud as well.


John Reynolds and the Rizla Suzuki team are next out in action at the fabulous Brands Hatch circuit over the Easter bank holiday weekend in the UK. Keep tuned to www.crash.net/bsb for details of how you can win tickets to that event and see John in action.



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