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GP Week : Issue 38
>>Moto GPnews o the second series Rizla to stay with Suzuki in another sponsorship boost IN a belated announcement, and in defiance to the mood of financial doom, Imperial Tobacco announced that the factory Suzuki team would continue to enjoy Rizla sponsorship in 2009. The welcome news came after negotiations had gone to the brink, and after Rizla had backed out of sponsorship of the Suzuki team in the prestigious British Superbike series. It also followed the announcement that the Tech 3 team, previously unsponsored, was to be backed by the energy drinks company Monster. Both these announcements were especially welcome because they run against the tide of dwindling sponsorship money, and fears that the economic collapse would cost MotoGP yet more support. Graham Blashill, Imperial Tobacco Group Sales and Marketing Director, explained the decision: “In difficult economic times, it is even more important to continue to support major brands and excellence in sport. Rizla and Suzuki are global brands committed to providing top quality and innovative products, and we are pleased to be continuing our partnership,” he said. 17