Crescent boss says Suzuki WRC split won’t have affect

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Crescent Suzuki Team Manager Jack Valentine said Suzuki’s withdrawal from the World Rally Championship will not have any affect on his official Suzuki British Superbike team’s budget.

Suzuki announced they have canned their WRC project after just one year as an official team.

The decision comes just a week after Honda made a similar statement to confirm their exit from Formula 1.

But Valentine told MCN the manufacturers exit from the rally series won’t allocate more or less budget to the Crescent team.

“The WRC decision has no affect on us,” he said.

“We were told today that they had pulled out but it’s a totally separate department.

“Yes, we’re one big company but there are different budgets.

“We all run under the Suzuki Vehicle banner but I very much doubt the decision will free up any more budget for us – the two wheel and four wheel department don’t mix budgets.”

Valentine also conformed that the team is still set to run just one rider in 2009 due to finances.

Crescent lost Rizla backing at the end of the 2008 season and has since been scouting for a new title sponsor.

The former Team Manager for the Foggy Petronas WSB team added: “It’s still ongoing on the sponsor front but we have a few good leads and some prospects.

“We haven’t signed a title sponsor but we do have a few potential partners.

“So as it stands we’re still committed to running just one rider.

“We could run two riders but the budget is tight – I can see a few BSB teams who have made that decision for next year really struggling.

“We had the budget to run one rider capable of winning a championship and that’s why we signed Sylvain [Guintoli].”

But with Neil Hodgson now available following Honda’s decision to pull out of the AMA Superbike series, Valentine admitted he’d love to sign the 2000 BSB Champion and 2003 World Superbike title winner.

“I’d love to run Neil – I’d love to give him an opportunity but it all comes down to money at the end of the day.”

Rob Hull

By Rob Hull