TEAM SUZUKI REVIEWS


What the Press said about TEAM SUZUKI 25 Years ago

Link June 1983: “...delivers a great deal of interesting information about the inner workings of a factory racing program. Despite the technical subject matter, his writing style and the wealth of quotes make the book a joy to read.” Bill Wood
Link October 1983: “...provides a cracking good read from the outset. He delves beneath the showy but often impenetrable exterior of a factory racing team and reveals how it operates day by day, functioning in foreign lands, through money hassles, personality conflicts and prototype development. The book is as complete and penetrating an examination of Suzuki’s racing effort as any yet published. It is a must-read for anyone fascinated by the inner workings of the Suzuki team. ...Team Suzuki is invaluable.” Paul Gordon
Link “Ray Battersby’s book claims, in its subtitle, to be ‘A definitive analysis of the factory’s roadracing motorcycles.’ It is not. Instead it is a fascinating history of Suzuki’s European (and US Formula One up to 1975) racing efforts through 1981 as seen with considerable inside information supplied by designers, racers, mechanics and managers responsible for the factory’s competition work..” John Ulrich
Link December 1982: “The value of this book is not in its clear retelling of this oft-told tale, nor even in the interesting Suzuki viewpoint of it, but in the number of new facts that have been unearthed. There’s a lot of stuff here you’ve never heard before. Like the full story of Ernst Degner’s defection from East Germany...It is liberally illustrated with pictures seldom or never seen before, as well as the odd graph. Team Suzuki comes highly recommended for any serious reader.” Michael Scott
Link “There's a minimum of waffle and a maximum of factual information. After the history comes sections on the money involved, the projects that never made it to the track, specifications and results of each model and a superb index.” Julian Ryder
  27 th November 1982: “Ray Battersby's ‘Team Suzuki' is a masterpiece of investigation and historic story-telling in an interesting style. Every chapter reveals more and more fascinating details behind the machines that made the headlines over the past three decades. The book...is unrivalled as a record of any modern racing marque. A valuable book for the enthusiast...”
  February 1983: “[The author] has spoken to most of the riders, mechanics and designers and keeps the narrative to a concise minimum, backed up by comments or anecdotes from the men who were actually involved with the racing. The sometimes blunt comments give an insight into the personalities, and the tactics both on and off the track, against the backdrop of the endless search for more performance.” John Robinson
  Tasty morsels such as details of the most powerful Suzuki works machine ever built (never raced because it was too potent) and information on both the three cylinder 50cc works engines developed by Suzuki are just the sort of stuff techno-junkies will enjoy in Ray Battersby's Team Suzuki. If there's anything left to know and it's not inside this volume then it can't be worth knowing.”
  December 1982: “Team Suzuki has turned out to be even better than we had imagined...it's very well written. It's actually more readable than many history books from so called professional writers. [It] doesn't attempt to whitewash the team story. It's all there, warts and all...it's fascinating to read the inside stories on controversial happenings such as the Hugh Anderson/Frank Perris feud, the aggro between Barry Sheene and team manager Merv Wright, the alleged attempts by Sheene to ensure team mates Newbold and Williams weren't given bikes as competitive as his and the Sheene/Hennen squabble.”
Link 22 nd December 1982: “A 500 Suzuki twin...lay wrecked at the Suzuki workshop at Croydon, Surrey . Barry [Sheene] and father Frank asked if [Suzuki] would let them repair it. [Suzuki] agreed and they sent [Suzuki] a bill for £36...In a well-researched 240 page book, Mr Battersby also unravels some of the mystery of Sheene's 170mph Daytona crash in 1974. It's the racing book of the year, concentrating solely on the Suzuki works machines.”
  May 1983: “Team Suzuki [is] just the best book I've ever read. Team Suzuki comprehensively covers the factory's involvement in road racing from their bicycle-framed Diamond Free moped's pedal-assisted dash up Mount Fuji to the present day (ending with the 1981 season). I'm not a racing fan but I was fascinated. Many of [the photographs] show an intimate and original side of Suzuki and they're all relevant to the text – no cheap padding out with useless pictures here.”

Team Managers

  “I tried to support Ray with my full knowledge and I offered him all the information and records that I possessed. I admire the splendid masterpiece he has produced. His work offers readers a pleasant and personal understanding of Suzuki's racing activities.” Masazumi Ishikawa - Manager, Team Suzuki 1961-67
 

“Neither before, nor since its initial publication, has there been a remotely comparable work to 'Team Suzuki'. Ray Battersby's literally world-wide travels for unquestionable verification of the countless stories - and rumours - pertaining to these remarkable machines and associated people, both public and behind-the-scenes, is unparalleled.

“My own personal copy shall forever remain on my bookshelf, in a place of honour and irrefutable reference; as it should, in the homes of the countless fans of this amazing Marque.” Merv Wright - Team Manager

US Suzuki 1974-75; Texaco Heron Team Suzuki 1976
 

“Ray's book, is by far the most informative document that explains in great detail, the prestige and heritage that the name Suzuki was built on.” Martyn Ogborne -
Team Manager 1980-88
Team Coordinator, Barry Sheene 1977-79
Crew Chief, Barry Sheene 1976
Mechanic, John Newbold 1975

Riders

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“I remember the amount of time Ray spent at Suzuki researching his book. I wasn't sure whether Ray ever actually did any work for Suzuki. He and I would pour over the photos I'd brought back from Hamamatsu to include in his book. I still have a copy.” Graeme Crosby -
1st TTF1 World Championship
1st Daytona Superbikes
1st Suzuka 8 Hour Race
1980. 1st TTF1 World Championship
4th 500cc World Championship
1st 500cc British Championship
1981. 2nd 500cc World Championship 1982

 

“...the most comprehensive and authoritative book on the motorcycles and people who made Suzuki... full of very interesting information and photography from beginning to end...”

Pat Hennen - Texaco Heron Team Suzuki rider 1977-78
3rd 500cc World Championship 1977
Member of the AMA Hall of Fame
The first American to win a Grand Prix

GP and MOTOGP Crew Chiefs

 

“From the moment I arrived at Beddington Lane in 1980, Ray was talking to me about the book he was writing, photographing and noting all that George (Vukmanovich) and I were doing to improve Randy's machines. I've had a copy of the resulting masterpiece on my bookshelves ever since.” Jerry Burgess - Crew Chief to:
Valentino Rossi, 6 times 500cc and MotoGP World Champion 2000-08
Mick Doohan, 5 times 500cc World Champion 1989-99
Wayne Gardner, 500cc World Champion 1986-88
Mechanic to:
Freddie Spencer, 500cc World Champion 1985
Ron Haslam 1983-84
Randy Mamola 1980-82

 

“Ray was the fly on the wall and he got all the info from all sides of the operation so he probably gathered a better picture of what was happening than many of us in the team had done. This is the straight scoop and shows Team Suzuki during some of its best years.” Mike Sinclair -  
Crew Chief to: Pat Hennen 1977-78
Wil Hartog 1979-81
Virginio Ferrari 1982
Randy Mamola 1983-84 and 1986-87
Rob McElnea 1985
Mike Baldwin 1986-87
Wayne Rainey, Triple 500cc World Champion 1988-93
Darryl Beattie 1994
Norifumi Abe 1995-96
Jean-Michel Bayle 1997-98
Max Biaggi 1999-2000

 

“Team Suzuki is a good read and a great work of reference including two special chapters on Suzuki's US racing. Ray's attention to detail is second to none.” George Vukmanovich
Crew Chief to: Randy Mamola 2 nd 500cc World Championship 1980-81
Warren Willing, Australian 750cc Champion 1976
Randy Mamola , US 250cc Champion 1978
Freddie Spencer, Double 500cc World Champion 1983, 1985
Luca Cadalora, Double 250cc World Champion 1991-92
Max Biaggi, 250cc World Champion 1997

 

Journalists

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“The mother of all the racing marque books. Battersby worked for Suzuki and was ideally placed to observe the characters as well as the machinery. Particularly strong on illustrations and specifications of all the works bikes and direct quotes from Japanese engineers and mechanics as well as the European and American managers and riders. Lots of insights into rivalries between riders and difficulties due to cultural differences between Europe and Japan .” Julian Ryder – Author and MotoGP commentator (EuroSport)

in his List of Books Every Bike Racing Fan Should Own
 

“The book called Team Suzuki written by Mr Ray Battersby is a dictionary of the History of Suzuki's Racing. Whoever owns a copy of this book, please look after it with the utmost care.” Gen Iwata

Japanese motorcycle historian

Author of History of Japanese Racing Motorcycles

Web Sites

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“Excellent. A book on racing motorcycles with so much information on types is quite rare.”

Dewittereus – Atlas F1 Bulletin Board - The Nostalgia Forum

 

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“One of the best racing books ever published. Tells you where the bodies are buried! I've known them go for over £120. Obviously, my own copy stays on my shelves!” Larryd – TT Forum

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“A wonderful book that really tells the story as it happened. Love my copy. I hope that you can find one soon.”

T54 (Phillipe de Lespinay) – Atlas F1 Bulletin Board - The Nostalgia Forum
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“A book to get hold of is Team Suzuki by Ray Battersby which traces the complete history of Suzuki racing from 1953 - 1981. I have a copy but you would have to kill me to get it as it is invaluable. So if you have any questions, fire and I will try to answer them from the official history book.”

Ivor Evans - SUZUKI T AND GT BULLETIN BOARD
Link “If you collect motorcycle books you will be aware it is one of the ‘Holy Grails'. It's just one of those books you never see - check the rest of the internet out as evidence of this….my understanding is that this is an expertly written book.” John Cow - Seller of books and automobilia
Link "My old copy of TEAMSUZUKI is dated 1982 and it should be called the badly "Batteredsby" as it has been used so much, read so much, referred to so much, valued so much and treasured...it is one book I will never lend to anyone. I found it such a great read and still do and of course it is the bible for Suzuki race fanatics such as myself. I know that many visitors to this website hold the book in awe as well." Murray Barnard