April 6, 2005.
Rizla Suzuki's John Reynolds and Scott Smart are in confident mood for this weekend's second-round British Superbike Championship race at Thruxton near the team's headquarters.
Both are confident with the performance of their GSX-R1000 race bikes and are looking forward to the extra support from local fans.
British Superbike Champion Reynolds was hailed as a hero after scoring two ninth place finishes at Brands Hatch with his right leg still broken in five places. Since then, the 39-year-old Nottingham rider has been spending time with his doctor and resting as much as possible to prepare himself for racing again.
Smart is looking forward to Thruxton with relish. The 28-year-old York-based rider is sure the sheer horsepower of the GSX-R1000K5 will make it a difficult bike to beat at Thruxton - the fastest closed circuit on the BSB calendar with an average lap speed of 112mph.
Thruxton in Hampshire is just a 45-minute drive from Rizla Suzuki's headquarters in Verwood, Dorset and thanks to a tradition of producing exceptionally close racing; it is one of the most popular events of the year.
"I feel stronger with every passing day and hope the fast open nature of Thruxton will allow me to be more competitive than the tight turns at Brands Hatch. On a tight track you are leaning the bike as much as possible to maintain corner speed and my special Alpinestars boot and cast were limiting how far I could lean, meaning I wasn't cornering as fast as I would normally.
"At a higher-speed circuit like Thruxton, you are more upright and driving through the corners. The more upright the better for me as my boot and cast are thick and are limiting ground clearance.
"I have been with my doctor and he says my leg continues to heal, which is good news. Thanks to all the fans for their words of support since the opening round. That makes a big difference to me. "
"Thruxton is a track that will suit the Rizla Suzuki with its very powerful engine. I have the best bike and team in the paddock and this weekend I mean to back that statement up by getting good results.
"At Brands Hatch, I proved that the GSX-R1000 was capable of fast lap times. Now the opening-round nerves are gone, we can concentrate on putting in fast laps every lap and fighting at the front where we belong. Thruxton is the home circuit for the Rizla Suzuki team and I am sure the extra fans in the crowd will give JR and me a real boost."
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office