The 45 year-old is a veteran of the British Superbike paddock and is one of the most experienced Team Managers in the sport. His management experience includes the Suzuki WSB, Kawasaki BSB, Honda BSB and Renegade WSB teams. This season he spearheaded Cal Crutchlow’s Championship-winning effort in the British Supersport Championship.
Another of Simon’s strengths is his experience as a racer, giving him a real connection and understanding with his riders. A former ACU Star 1000cc Champion and winner in the hotly-contested European 500cc Championship, he rode full-time in Grands Prix and made several appearances in World Endurance.
Basing himself at Rizla Suzuki’s headquarters at the Crescent Suzuki Performance Centre in Dorset, Simon will take over management responsibilities from Robert Wicks and Niall Mackenzie. Robert remains with the team, taking on the role of Commercial Manager, while Niall will continue his friendship with the squad in an unofficial capacity.
“I am absolutely delighted to be the new Team Manager for Rizla Suzuki,” said Buckmaster. “Rizla Suzuki has had a couple of hard years but remains one of the most professional set-ups in the Championship.
“I will use all of my experience and skill to help Rizla Suzuki get back to the sharp end of the racing and challenging for victory. I won’t settle for anything other than racing at the front in 2007 and I know Rizla Suzuki can deliver.
“I can’t wait to get started in my new job and I am looking forward to getting stuck in at the Race of the Year. That will give me a good look at the team and is the first building block in Rizla Suzuki’s preparations for the 2007 British Superbike Championship.”
Rizla Suzuki team owner Paul Denning said: “Simon Buckmaster is an experienced Team Manager with a history of success and unwavering focus on the job. He will strengthen the squad and is tasked with challenging for the 2007 British Superbike Championship and I am confident he will deliver.
“Thanks go to Robert for heading the team during the last two difficult years. He did a sterling job in the face of difficult odds and on some occasions, unbelievable bad luck. As the new Commercial Manager for Rizla Suzuki he will add strength in depth for our sponsors and is already looking forward to his new role. Thanks also to Niall for all his efforts helping the team as Race Operations Manager. He will remain a team and close personal friend.”