As had been widely anticipated, the Crescent Suzuki team have announced that they will be switching from the British Superbike series to compete in World Superbikes in 2012. The team, who were runners up in the BSB championship with John Hopkins, had been looking at competing in WSBK for some time now, their intention strengthened by a strong outing during the British round of WSBK at Silverstone back in July. The strong year in BSB convinced the team to move up to WSBK.
There is still much information missing from Suzuki press release. The rider line up is yet to be announced, though the chances are very strong that John Hopkins will be one of the two riders. There is also no mention of factory support, but with Suzuki withdrawing support from the Alstare team and Crescent's strong links to Suzuki in the UK and Suzuki headquarters in Hamamatsu through the Rizla Suzuki squad, also run by the Crescent operation, the chances are good of receiving support in some form or other, as the reference to "additional developments and enhancements" would appear to suggest.
With Suzuki now confirmed in WSBK, the waiting is for the announcement from the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP squad. That announcement is expected some time over the weekend, with Alvaro Bautista having said that he expects to make a decision on his future in the next 48 hours.
Below is the official press release from Crescent.
CRESCENT SUZUKI TO RACE WSB IN 2012
Team Suzuki Press Office - October 21.
Crescent Suzuki, the south of England-based Superbike racing team, has announced its participation in the 2012 World Superbike Championship.
Crescent has supplied Suzuki motorcycles from its dealership since 1963 and has competed in the British Superbike Championship since 1996. The Crescent Suzuki team has enjoyed Championship success in both Supersport and Superbike classes and only missed out on the 2011 British Superbike title - with American rider John Hopkins - by the very narrowest of margins after a thrilling finale. The team has also achieved multiple World Superbike podiums over the years when entered as a "Wild Card" and achieved pole position with Hopkins at this year's Silverstone race.
Crescent Suzuki intends to enter the Championship with exactly the same philosophy as it has always maintained; to use the best riders, staff, and machine technology possible and to aim for a completely competitive level of performance. The team is confident that the Suzuki GSX-R1000, with additional developments and enhancements, will be able to compete with the best teams.
Crescent also looks forward to delivering commercial value for its partners, both in the team's domestic UK market and further afield.
Crescent Suzuki looks forward to announcing its riders and commercial partners for the 2012 World Superbike campaign in due course.