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DATE News (chronologically)
03/18/09
motogp
Suzuki rolls up a new MotoGP title deal with Rizla
Suzuki Motor Corporation and Imperial Tobacco Group have renewed their ongoing partnership in one of the few tobacco sponsorship deals left in sport.  Rizla, the rolling paper manufacturer, will continue to be the title sponsor of the Japanese company's MotoGP team in a deal said to be worth US$7 million.

Rizla has been the title sponsor of the Suzuki Grand Prix motorcycle race team for the past three years and the one-year extension deal will see the Suzuki drivers Loris Capirossi and Chris Vermeulen continue to race the distinctive 'Rizla blue' motorbikes this season.

"In difficult economic times, it is even more important to continue to support major brands and excellence in sport,” said Graham Blashill, Imperial Tobacco sales and marketing director. “ Rizla and Suzuki are global brands committed to providing top quality and innovative products, and we are pleased to be continuing our partnership."

Paul Denning, Suzuki team manager, is delighted with the lucrative deal.  He said: “This is very positive news for Suzuki to continue our partnership with Rizla in today's current difficult climate. We have enjoyed a very close relationship, both on and off the track, with Rizla during the past three years and have certainly considered all the representatives of Rizla as part of the team.”

Suzuki, who finished sixth in last season’s MotoGP, has been racing in motorcycle Grand Prix since 1960 and has won seven World Championship manufacturers titles and six individual titles, with such household names as Barry Sheene, Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr.

The first race of the year will be a night event on Sunday 12th April, when Rizla Suzuki MotoGP return to Losail.

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