Suzuki rider standings after 7 rounds, 14 races

Michel Fabrizio - Alstare Suzuki - 7thJosh Waters - Yoshimura Suzuki - 21st

Having proved itself capable of a title challenge in 2010, not many could understand the reasoning behind Suzuki's decision to all but pull its factory backing for its World Superbike effort - but if money talks in Superbikes, then it shouts in MotoGP.

Even so, despite the Alstare team, which has been faithful for many a season now, expressing its disappointment at Suzuki's reluctance to commit, we should at least be thankful they have released enough funds for a single bike.

Though hardly the stuff of title challenges, Alstare Suzuki have fared well with the only full-time GSX-R1000 on the grid which, in the hands of Michel Fabrizio, has continued to show decent form.

A return to four-cylinder machinery for Fabrizio, the Italian has assumed the role of dark horse in 2011, though this in part has been down to some stealthy rides through the field from some less than ideal grid positions.

Indeed, qualifying has been Fabrizio's weakness this season, the former Ducati rider cracking the top eight on just a single occasion. The fact then that Fabrizio has scored top eight results in each of the races he has finished is testament to his performances come Sunday.

Rumour has it Suzuki is on the verge of sealing a sponsorship deal that could return it to a two-man squad, but even if it doesn't, Fabrizio is doing well to fly the flag for the manufacturer.

Elsewhere, Suzuki ranks have been bolstered twice this season in the form of wild-card Yoshimura. Though the Japanese manufacturer had originally planned to do a full 2011 season, financial constraints have limited them to just two outings, with young Australian Josh Waters scoring points at Phillip Island and Miller Motorsports Park.



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