Experienced race team manager Jack Valentine is replacing Simon Buckmaster as the Rizla Suzuki team boss for the 2008 British Superbike season.
Jack Valentine is currently the MSS Kawasaki team manager and previously ran the Foggy Petronas World Superbike team as well as having enjoyed massive success in British championship racing and on the roads with his own V&M team.
Motorcyclenews.com sat down with Jack Valentine to discuss his new role for 2008.
MCN: What’s the attraction of Rizla Suzuki?
Valentine: They fit my idea of a professional racing team. They have a long-term strategy and the budget to achieve their goals. They want to win.
MCN: You’ve been around British Superbikes long enough to see what goes on. Why haven’t they been winning?
Valentine: I don’t think they’ve ever recovered from John Reynolds being injured. That hit them hard. Simon (Buckmaster) has turned things around and the team is almost back to where it was. I hope to build on what he’s achieved this year.
MCN: What’s the secret to a title-winning team?
Valentine: That’s hard to quantify. I’m hoping to find a good bunch of guys who want to win races – guys who are willing to work together with the same objectives. When I worked with Foggy, the team knew we didn’t have the machinery to win races but we approached each race as if we were going to win the title.
MCN: But can the Suzuki GSX-R1000 win races?
Valentine: It does in AMA competition, and in WSB. There’s no reason why it can’t win in BSB.
MCN: Tell us about the rider line-up for 2008?
Valentine: I can’t yet. This deal was finalised just as we arrived at Donington and I’ve no idea who the riders will finally be. I do know there’s a long queue of them after the rides.
MCN: What about the rumours of Japanese rider Atsushi Watanabe having signed?
Valentine: Like I say, I’ve not a clue. But I am looking forward to it all being sorted out so we can sit down and plan the 2008 season.