Simon Buckmaster will start his new role as team manager for Rizla Suzuki when the squad takes to the track at 'The Race of the Year' at Mallory Park on October 15th.

The 45 year-old is a veteran of the British Superbike paddock and one of the most experienced team managers in the sport. His management experience includes the Suzuki WSB, Kawasaki BSB, Honda BSB and Renegade WSB teams and this season he spearheaded Cal Crutchlow's title winning effort in the British Supersport Championship.

Another of Buckmaster's strengths is his experience as a racer, giving him a real connection and understanding with his riders. A former ACU Star 1000cc Champion and winner in the hotly contested European 500cc Championship, he rode full-time in grands prix and made several appearances in World Endurance.

"Simon Buckmaster is an experienced team manager with a history of success and unwavering focus on the job," declared team owner Paul Denning. "He will strengthen the squad and is tasked with challenging for the 2007 British Superbike Championship and I am confident he will deliver."

"I am absolutely delighted to be the new team manager for Rizla Suzuki," he said. "Rizla Suzuki has had a couple of hard years but remains one of the most professional set-ups in the championship.

"I will use all of my experience and skill to help Rizla Suzuki get back to the sharp end of the racing and challenging for victory. I won't settle for anything other than racing at the front in 2007 and I know Rizla Suzuki can deliver.

"I can't wait to get started in my new job and I am looking forward to getting stuck in at the Race of the Year. That will give me a good look at the team and is the first building block in Rizla Suzuki's preparations for the 2007 British Superbike Championship," he added.

Basing himself at Rizla Suzuki's headquarters at the Crescent Suzuki Performance Centre in Dorset, Buckmaster will take over management responsibilities from Robert Wicks and former BSB champion Niall Mackenzie. Wicks will remains with the team, having moved to the position of commercial manager, while Mackenzie will have no official new role.

"Thanks go to Robert for heading the team during the last two difficult years," said Denning. "He did a sterling job in the face of difficult odds and on some occasions, unbelievable bad luck. As the new commercial manager for Rizla Suzuki he will add strength in depth for our sponsors and is already looking forward to his new role. Thanks also to Niall for all his efforts helping the team as race operations manager, he will remain a team and close personal friend."

Shane Byrne and James Haydon rode for Rizla Suzuki during the 2006 season, in which the team took only one race win, courtesy of Byrne at Knockhill race two.