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Denning confident of podiums in Crescent Suzuki's debut year

Crescent Suzuki team owner Paul Denning os confident that riders Leon Camier and john Hopkins can stand on the World Superbike podium in 2012 during the team's debut year.

Both men have plenty of experience on the global stage with Hopkins a MotoGP podium man and Camier having done the same in WSBK. Denning says that Yoshimura are working hard on the engines and they expect to have a competitive package come the Phillip Island tests.

"The series looks very interesting for 2012 and even with Yamaha's withdrawal, the level of manufacturer representation is very positive - Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, Ducati, BMW and Aprilia all have strong teams, whether "factory" or privately operated and all have very fast riders," said Denning.


"The combination of the Pirelli tyres and Superbike specification machine is an "easier" package to access the limits of performance compared to the MotoGP bikes and therefore more riders can battle for the top positions. I say that with complete respect to all the riders in SBK, who fight like animals to win, but the Superbike specification bikes generally permit closer racing and different riders going for the podium week-to-week which is great for the fans.

"In Superbike, the rider can still make the difference. That said - the highest quality riders, bikes and teams are the ones who always end up battling for the title and we hope to be amongst them.

"John went through a lot last year - it was a minor injury that turned into a real nightmare. He's just started properly training now - after a horrible month of extremely strong antibiotics - but his base fitness levels are good enough that he'll bounce back quickly.

"I have no concerns - I do expect his fitness level to improve race by race - but it will be tough to be at a genuine 100% for Philip Island. Leon will adapt easily. The bike fits him well, he likes the basic chassis feel and he knows and trusts the team. We had a tough test in Portimao but Leon still wasn't far off at the end; he'll be right at the sharp end of the fight I'm sure. Can we challenge for the podium? Yes."

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