News 1 Feb 2010

MotoGP: Rizla extends Suzuki MotoGP title sponsorship

Rizla will return to MotoGP with Suzuki for at least two more seasons.

Rizla will return to MotoGP with Suzuki for at least two more seasons.

Suzuki Motor Corporation has announced a two-year extension to its agreement with ITL (Imperial Tobacco Limited) that will see the Suzuki MotoGP team continue to carry the Rizla brand on its GSV-R in the premier class of motorcycling racing.

Rizla became the title sponsor of Suzuki’s MotoGP team in 2006 and the announcement of a further extension to the partnership will mean the Suzuki GSV-R will compete in the MotoGP World Championship in the now famous ‘Rizla Blue’ until at least 2011.

Rizla is the world’s premier brand of rolling papers and has had a racing association with Suzuki since the 1980’s in Grand Prix, including Suzuki legend Kevin Schwantz rolling out on his GP debut on a Rizla-backed RG500 in 1986.

Loris Capirossi and new-signing Ãlvaro Bautista will be in action on their Rizla Suzukis at the first test of 2010 at Sepang in Malaysia this week, with the 18-race season scheduled to get underway beneath the lights of Losail in Qatar on 11 April.

“Everybody involved with the Suzuki Grand Prix project is delighted that the Rizla brand will continue its partnership in 2010 and into 2011 and that we are able to continue with the now iconic Rizla Suzuki image for the next two seasons,” said team manager Paul Denning. “It’s very clear that that the 2009 season fell far below our expectations and targets, but Loris, Ãlvaro, the whole team and the Suzuki Racing group in Hamamatsu will be doing everything we can to take a big step forward and re-pay Rizla’s faith in the project during 2010 and beyond.”

Graham Blashill, sales and marketing director of Imperial Tobacco Group, is also happy to retain the partnership through Rizla.

“We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Suzuki MotoGP team over the 2010 and 2011 seasons and I look forward to an exciting couple of years both on the track and in our own business,” he explained. “The MotoGP platform fits perfectly with Rizla’s global, premium status and the close partnership we have forged with the Suzuki team enables us to leverage the brand extremely effectively. Both from a personal point of view, and on behalf of the Imperial Tobacco Group, I wish Loris and Ãlvaro the best of luck on the track and I look forward to success for the Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team as a whole.”