Tanel Leok to be armed with factory RM-Z for the rest of 2004
In the wake of his recent extraordinary results riding the RM 250cc in the MX1 World Championships, beating many older, more established and experienced riders with works machinery, Motovision Suzuki UK representative Tanel Leok will be given a factory RM-Z 450 for the remainder of the Grand Prix season and the British Championships.
The Estonian will remain within his Motovision squad but upgrades motorcycles from a stock two-stroke, with which he has blazed a way through the international scene, to the 450 four-stroke, the model currently undergoing its debut GP campaign and naturally in need of further development.
The bike will carry the colours and sponsors of the UK based outfit but will be kept at Team Suzuki’s workshops in Belgium as well as being prepared by the factory squad.
Prior to his tenth place last weekend in Italy (due to rear brake fade), Leok has taken a string of top five positions and has risen to seventh spot in the standings.
The teenager was one member of the lauded 2002 Vangani 125cc KTM team trio that also boasted current MX2 GP winners and main protagonists Ben Townley and Tyla Rattray. This will be Leok’s first major outing on a four-stroke. More detailed information on the rider can be found at: www.tanelleok.com
Jens Johansson, Team Manager
“Tanel was a natural choice to help us with the work we are doing on the 450. His results and speed have marked him out as one of the brightest young riders in MX1. Negotiations were complicated to get him on the RM-Z but we have finally sorted out a way whereby he will be able to help us in the development of the bike. The four-stroke will be maintained by Luka (Joel Smets’ mechanic) at the workshop and transported to the Grand Prix and British Championship where it will be under the colours of Motovision. We hope Tanel will be able to keep up his good run of form and it is exciting for Suzuki to have two strong talents such as Leok and Strijbos in MX1.”
Mark Chamberlain, Team Manager, Motovision
“We are pretty happy that Tanel has been giving the 450, not least because we think he deserves it. Having the factory bike will mean we have the best of both worlds because Team Suzuki’s mechanic will look after the machine and be able to use his knowledge with us. I suppose most people are thinking whether Tanel will be able to make the switch and carry the same speed, personally I believe he will need some race time to adapt and then be right up there before the end of the season.”