Frenchman Jules Cluzel will be joining 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.
The 24-year-old hails from Montlucon in Central France and competed in his first motorcycle championship in 2004, before moving up to the National series the following year, where he secured second in the championship in his rookie season. Cluzel then 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, something that FIXI Crescent Suzuki will be hoping he emulates in the move up to Superbikes.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki is excited at the chance of working with one of the brightest young stars to move up from World Supersport and 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.
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 Sunday February 24th at Phillip Island in Australia.
"I am really excited to be joining the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team. 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."
Paul Denning - Team Principal:
"Securing Leon's team-mate for 2013 hasn't exactly been the smoothest process, 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 - we are excited to have Jules with us!
"Importantly, Jules has shown his commitment and is very excited to be with FIXI Crescent Suzuki in WSBK for 2013 - it's nice to create a partnership where both sides are equally committed and share the same targets. The team is doing absolutely everything it can to make sure that the competitive base of the GSX-R, which we found towards the end of 2012, is taken forward so that we can provide Leon and Jules with machinery worthy of their talent."