The British-based Crescent Suzuki Racing team are expected to confirm their switch to WSB in 2012. As reported in MCN this week, the current BSB squad have been in on-going discussions with WSB bosses about graduating to the world championship.
The BSB runner-ups proved themselves when they competed as wild cards at this year’s Silverstone WSB round where rider John Hopkins set pole position and secured a top five finish.
Team manager Jack Valentine spent last weekend in Portimao for the final round of WSB and told MCN that his team is more than capable of making an impact on the world scene.
Valentine also confirmed that regardless of whether they race in BSB or WSB it would be a two-man team and given the team’s pedigree they would have no shortage of top riders interested in joining the squad.
Valentine has made no secret of his desire to retain the services of American John Hopkins, who has turned his career around dramatically with the team this year and has years of world championship experience.
Leon Camier is also being strongly linked with the British team. The former BSB champion has spent the last two seasons with the factory Alitalia Aprilia team in WSB. Despite securing a total of seven podiums and seventh in the overall standings this year, he has been unable to deliver the consistency and results he or the team expected. But a closer look at his performances, especially in the second half of the races, gives a clear indication of his potential to be a genuine title contender.
Another linked to the ride is newly crowned BSB champion, Tommy Hill. Hill rode for the team in 2010 and showed his pedigree by beating Hopkins to the title this season, riding a Swan Yamaha. He also has a point to prove in WSB after suffering a torrid time when he raced an Althea Honda in 2009.
An announcement on the team’s future is expected tomorrow, although there may still be some time before the rider-line-up is confirmed.