Frenchman Jules Cluzel will join the FIXI Crescent Suzuki World Superbike Championship team to race a Suzuki GSX-R1000 in 2013.
Cluzel has signed for the team fresh from success in the World Supersport Championship, where he took a total of eight podiums, including four victories, on his way to runner-up in the title race. Cluzel showed consistency throughout the 2012 season and ended the year by taking victory in his home race at Magny-Cours in France.
“I am really excited to be joining the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team,” Cluzel said. “It is a big step in my career, but one that I am very happy to take. When I was given the option to work with Suzuki in World Superbikes, I did not need to think about it twice and I just said a big ‘Yes!’ straight away. I am really motivated by the whole project and I know that this is what I want.
“I will make sure I’m totally ready for the first race and plan to learn not only quickly, but also intelligently. I cannot wait to start work and I am also really pleased to be working with an English team. I now just want to get on the bike and see how it goes, do my best and challenge for some good results.”
The 24-year-old made the move to the 250cc World Championship and in 2009 he scored his first GP podium at Qatar and was also awarded the Michel Metraux Trophy as best privateer that season. Cluzel recorded his first Grand Prix victory in 2010 when he won at Silverstone in England, on his way to seventh overall in the Moto2 Championship.
For this season he made the step into the Supersport paddock, where the experience he had gained from the 600cc machines in Moto2 stood him in very good stead and he was able to adapt to the series quickly and successfully.
The signing of Cluzel completes the team’s rider line-up, after Leon Camier was recently confirmed with the squad for next year. The team had strongly considered Josh Waters for the ride, following a positive test in Spain recently. FIXI Crescent Suzuki is disappointed that two-into-one doesn’t go and greatly appreciates the support from Waters, and also Suzuki Australia, at the test and hopes that the opportunity to work together again arises in the near future.
“Securing Leon’s team-mate for 2013 hasn’t exactly been the smoothest process,” admitted team principal Paul Denning, “but in the end we couldn’t be happier with the result. Jules is young, fast and aggressive and has shown that he can adapt to new bikes and new championships very quickly.
“His 250GP and Moto2 experience provides an understanding and feeling for stiffer, less forgiving ‘race-bikes’ which the WSBK machines have developed into, and we anticipate a quick transition to the GSX-R. Any rider who has won a Moto2 race – and finished ahead of riders like Stefan Bradl and Scott Redding in the Championship standings – and then come to such a competitive series as World Supersport and just missed out on becoming Champion in his first year, clearly has a great talent.”
Cluzel will get his first taste of the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R at a test in Spain in January, with the first race of the season scheduled for Feb. 24 at Phillip Island in Australia.
–From Team Suzuki News Service