GARRY TAYLOR TO STEP DOWN
October 1st 2004. The longest-serving Team Manager in GPs retires at the age of 55.

Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager Garry Taylor, the most experienced and longest-serving team manager in the GP paddock, is to step down at the end of the 2004 season after almost 30 years with the Suzuki factory GP team.

Taylor will be bringing to an end an illustrious career with the team. He first worked with the team in the mid-Seventies when Barry Sheene won two consecutive 500cc World Championships. During more than 20 years as team manager, the Englishman has guided the Suzuki Team to two more individual world titles - with Kevin Schwantz in 1993 and Kenny Roberts Jr. in 2000 - and to 40 individual race wins.

"Being team manager for Suzuki has been the greatest job in the world and I have enjoyed practically every day of it. It's been a privilege to work with some of the world's greatest riders, not only the title winners, and I would like to thank Suzuki for such an enjoyable career with them.

"I had always planned to step down at 55 and the factory was aware of that," said Taylor. "I've decided to do so now and to take a less active role, for several reasons.

"Firstly, with the pressures of the job increasing year by year, along with the popularity of MotoGP, I find I am spending more and more time on the road. Next year's schedule including testing, would have meant more than 200 days away. I have an 8 year-old daughter, Phoebe, and I have already missed too many landmarks in her life. I have never been home for her birthday, for example, or indeed for any of my wife's birthdays.

"Secondly, my health has been deteriorating, and, while there is nothing that cannot be fixed, I need to stand still long enough to be able to give the doctors the time they need.

"With the Suzuki GSV-R coming to the end of its current development stage, the factory and I decided that the end of this year would be the right time to step down. I believe I will be able to hand on to my successor a well-established and highly motivated team, as can be seen from our improving results during this season" said Taylor.

Suzuki racing manager Masahito Imada said: "Suzuki would like to thank Garry for his long and dedicated service to our racing efforts. Together we have achieved some great things. Now we start a new era, determined to continue the improvement in our results."

At the same time, Suzuki announced that Paul Denning will take over the position of team manager from the beginning of 2005. Denning is the owner of the UK-based Crescent Suzuki team that has secured the 2004 British Superbike title. In addition to Paul's new assignment, Crescent Suzuki intends to defend the 2005 British Superbike championship on the new GSX-R1000.

"Garry has done a fantastic job for Suzuki." said Paul, "We aim to carry on building on the continuing improvements and success of the team and the GSV-R. Suzuki has a high quality, consistent team in place and it is thanks to Garry's efforts that we are inheriting a team with such high potential. It's a great opportunity and an honour for us to be entrusted with the next stage in the GSV-R development programme and we are looking forward to the challenges ahead."