Reigning British Supersport Champion Cal Crutchlow will race a Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike in 2007, pinning his colours to the light blue mast as he targets glory in the acclaimed British Superbike Championship.
The 20-year-old from Coventry is one of the hottest talents Britain has to offer. After winning six out of 12 races to take the prestigious British Supersport title in 2006, he had his pick of teams to join and chose Rizla Suzuki as his best chance for adding more silverware to his mantelpiece.
"You just have to look down the years to see the impressive results that Suzuki has achieved to understand why I wanted so badly to ride for this team," explained Cal. "From Supersport to Superbike Championship success, Suzuki has achieved it all in Britain and now the Rizla Suzuki Superbike squad has a direct link to the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team as well.
"I respect Rizla Suzuki enormously, it is a big team with a massive presence in the Championship and there is a real buzz of excitement about it. I want to be part of that success story and win with the Rizla Suzuki team in BSB."
A former professional footballer who turned down a lucrative contract with Coventry City FC to follow his racing dreams, Cal is set to bring a level of youth and enthusiasm to Rizla Suzuki that has already got his new team buzzing with anticipation.
Cal said: "Having a professional team supporting you is one of the most important ingredients for success and I know I'll get that with Rizla Suzuki. Simon Buckmaster as the new Team Manager is a big bonus for me as I won the Supersport Championship with him this year and he is the best you can get. It couldn't be any better for me."
Cal will make his debut for Rizla Suzuki at the Race of the Year at Mallory Park this weekend. He will ride a Superbike for the very first time on Friday in a private Rizla Suzuki test at the 1.39-mile long Leicestershire track before racing it on Sunday.
"I'm being thrown in at the deep end but can't wait to get riding," enthused Cal. "I've never ridden a Superbike before so it is going to be all new. There is a lot more that you can alter on the set-up of a Superbike than a Supersport bike so I am going to be on a steep learning curve for the Race of the Year.
"I am under no pressure to perform at the races. This is my debut and it is most important I learn and adapt. I can't wait to feel the power of a Superbike under me; it's going to be an interesting weekend at a circuit which is close to my home. I hope some of my local fans will come along and cheer me on."
Rizla Suzuki Team Manager Simon Buckmaster is delighted to have secured Cal as one of two racers for 2007. He said: "Cal has already proved he can win and is without doubt one of Britain's best upcoming riders. We will take very good care of him at Rizla Suzuki and aim to nurture that talent through to winning races and challenging for Superbike titles. Cal and Rizla Suzuki together have the tools and ability to go a long way."