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Paul Denning: In his own words

Published: 09 December 2001

Weebleswobble: Can the new 1000 realistically win in 2002?

PaulDenning: We started working with the bike in May. The lap times have been better than the 750, so we're looking forward to competing on a level playing field. The great thing about bike racing is that the rider is still one of the biggest parts of the equation And that’s the attraction for many. If our riders can get 100 per cent we can win races. I'm sure we have the right rider lined up for that as well

R1basher: How did you tempt JR into your team?

PaulDenning: Massive cheque (laughs). The main reason John has been interested, is that John has been in one team for five years, but a new challenge is what gets people excited. He and Hislop were clearly head and shoulders ahead of the rest last season. For John to prove himself completely, he wants to do it on an entirely new bike. It's an exciting time for him and for the team.

Flanker: What are Reynolds thoughts of the 1000cc machine, is he happy with it?

PaulDenning: In his own words, the bike is an absolute weapon! The first day of testing he was not struggling, but needing to get used to the bike and to adapt the bike to his riding style. The team was able to create the engine and chassis feel he wanted very quickly and within the second day he was really enjoying it. He was wheelying and sliding. Testing left him full of smiles, and really looking forward to the new season. He wasn't just being political when he said he genuinely believes he has one of the best bikes for next year. The main thing is its bloody fast.

Zooky: How do you get on with JR?

PaulDenning: I don't really know him. We get on well. He is an absolute gentleman. His image is quiet and not very interesting, but when you get under his skin he's as much a lunatic as the rest of us. The image of the team and of Suzuki will get that closer to the public. I think he's going to be a real asset. John opened our showroom in 1996 when he was with Suzuki in WSB. Now six years on, neither of us ever considered we'd be working together with a factory Suzuki.

R1basher: What sort of BHP are your GSXR1000's putting out?

PaulDenning: Different teams use different dynos and refer to crank, gearbox or rear wheel. We do know they are making 25bhp more, and much more torque, than our 750 last year. On our dyno we get 185bhp on the rear wheel with linear power delivery. It is also 15kph faster at the end of the main straight at Almeria.

Paultaylor: Is the 1000 faster than the 750 over a lap just now?

PaulDenning: The answer is yes. At Snetterton it’s about a second a lap faster, and at twisty circuits its at least as fast if not slightly faster. At most circuits there will be a clear advantage. It's so much easier to access the power.

Youngbikerkev: How do you feel about Kawasaki pulling out of BSB next year?

PaulDenning: It's a shame because they will be the only major manufacturer not represented, but the ZX-7R is an aging beast and the ZX-9R is not the best starting place. The ZX-7R would need a very good rider and most of the best are already committed. I hope people who are keen on racing, don't react badly against Kawasakis, but of course I'm hoping they will buy Suzukis instead!

Happy: What do you make of the merger between Suzuki and Kawasaki?

PaulDenning: I don't know much about it/ Its clearly a corporate decision which will help both companies. Kawasaki is very strong in ATVs and Suzuki is stronger in sports bikes. I don't think we will see any immediate change to the model line ups in the short term.

But we've seen in the car industry that re-badged products on the same floorplan do come along. It would be shame to compromise the loyalty some people feel to the brands. If I had to guess I wouldn't think its made any difference to short term decisions on racing

Youngbikerkev: Are you still on bad relations with Chris Walker? When he pulled out of WSB ride with Suzuki?

PaulDenning: I've been waiting for this question. You have to separate the job a person did from the person themselves. Walker did a great job, no one could have given more. He gelled with the team and the bike in the kind of way that riders rarely do. He felt he could get away with anything on that bike.

As regards his decision making and his conduct off the machine, that's a very different story on which I don't want to comment, other than to say one would summise its unlikely he'll ride for Suzuki again and its definite he won't ride for us again.

Paultaylor: How do you think Chris Walker will do in WSB?

PaulDenning: If he gels with Kawasaki in the way he did with us he'll have a reasonable level of success. It's going to be a struggle. The Kawasaki isn't really going anywhere and the level of competition is very high. If I had to make a prediction I'd say between fifth and tenth in the series

Youngbikerkev: When Chris was going round asking for jobs did he come to you again after his terrible season in GPs?

PaulDenning: No he didn't come to us. He wouldn't have done, based on how things had been left. It's a shame that professional and personal relationships can get damaged by decisions people make. The public doesn't necessarily see the efforts we make. If you feel you have been treated in an incorrect way you have to stick to your principals.

Paultaylor: Will you be keeping a 750 so that John and Karl can have wildcard rides in WSB?

PaulDenning: No. There's no benefit. We won't take the wildcard opportunity because our riders would be up against it and maybe getting a 10th if they were lucky on the 750

Zooky: Do you have any aspirations of going to WSB if the rules change like in BSB?

PaulDenning: Yes. We have a very good relationship with Suzuki GB and a good technical relationship with the factory in Japan. Should there be an opportunity we would love to consider it. It would depend on the marketing philosophy in the UK. With the right bike and the right riders we would consider it but BSB is a strong enough series at this stage. We don't view it as a second best option

Happy: If you could have any two riders in the world in your squad, who would they be?

PaulDenning: It would depend. From any era? Schwantz, without any doubt, the second would be Rossi. From current riders Rossi and I'm struggling for a second...Possibly Troy Bayliss. He's a guy who can always win and you can't meet a nicer, more humble, more genuine guy.

Paultaylor: Who do you think will be the main contenders next season?

PaulDenning: I feel we have an extremely strong line-up ourselves. Harris is just 22 and he has every chance of being the next Foggy. Reynolds, on his day, is as fast as anyone.

R1basher: What are your expectations of Karl for next season??

PaulDenning: If he can beat JR he is capable of winning it. John and Hislop will be among the strongest. But Karl isn't phased at all, he is extremely natural and he is much fitter than he has ever been. His focus is excellent. As a package the kid is ready to rock. I expect him to be making podiums weekend after weekend.

Atom: who's the faster rider on the GSXR1000, Karl or John

PaulDenning: Karl was faster on day one and day two. John spent more time in the garage sorting the set up for himself. They ended a very small gap apart with John going marginally quicker But they are both going very, very quick. And from both the riders and the bike we feel there's a fair bit more to come

Atom: How do you think Foggy will cope with running a WSB team next year?

PaulDenning: I'm not sure he'll have the patience to run the team but he's getting the right partners around him. He'll use his status to be a figurehead, but hopefully for him he won't have the day to day hassles. It's an exciting venture and great to see the team getting involved in bike racing and we wish them the best of luck

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