Rizla Back With Suzuki, Says Capirossi

For a long time now, the question of Rizla's sponsorship has been hanging over Suzuki like a sword of Damocles. Rumors that the cigarette paper manufacturer would not extend its contract have been rife, especially in the Spanish and Italian press. And after the team turned up in traditional factory colors, it looked like their could be some substance to those rumors.

Fortunately for Suzuki, all those reports appear to wrong. Loris Capirossi told GPOne.com today that Rizla have signed a new contract with Suzuki for 2009. According to Capirex, the deal was done after the Sepang tests, where the Italian and his Australian team mate Chris Vermeulen set some outstanding times.

When contacted by MotoGPMatters.com, Tim Walpole, the press spokesman for the team denied that a deal had already been done. "Loris is probably jumping the gun on this one," he said. "We're still in discussions with Rizla, but no deal has been signed. The discussions are taking place in a very positive atmosphere, and we're pretty sure we'll come to an agreement." When asked whether the positive air to the talks was down to Suzuki's excellent showing at the recent Sepang tests, Walpole replied, "Well it can't have hindered, but the talks were already very positive before we went to Malaysia."

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