Jun 18, 2001
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Suzuki Motor Company issued the following press release regarding the company's plans for what is now the 500cc Grand Prix World Championship, which will allow 990cc four-strokes starting in 2002. Behind the scenes, the company is already looking at riders with 1000cc four-stroke experience and potentially race-winning speed to ride the new machine.<BR><BR>The text of the press release follows:<BR><BR>"SUZUKI TO JOIN FOUR-STROKE GP RACE<BR><BR>"Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, June 16, 2001 <BR><BR>"Suzuki today announced that it has begun development of a four-stroke racing prototype for the new Grand Prix regulations, and expects to begin testing the new machine before the end of this year.<BR><BR>"The prototype machine - an ultra-compact all-new 990cc 16-valve V-four engine mounted in the existing World-Championship-winning chassis - is<BR>code-named the "XRE0". XR is Suzuki's code for its racing machines, while E is Evolution and 0 the model number of the bike. Suzuki's target is to have the machine ready for a full competitive season in 2003. <BR><BR>"Engineers conservatively predict more than 210 horsepower from the new engine, which will use electronic fuel injection. <BR><BR>"The design was established after intensive study and computer simulations started in February 2000. The V-four engine size is similar to the current two-stroke engine, fitting into the same chassis, and offers other advantages in efficiency, reliability and performance. <BR><BR>"The development programme over the coming months sees further intensive computer simulation study in parallel with actual design and engineering. Testing of a complete machine is planned for September this year, and during 2002 the four-stroke development will continue separately from the active racing team. Suzuki is already using data gathered by the factory GP team last year, along with comments from reigning World Champion Kenny Roberts Jr, to guide early development of the new XRE0. When required, the GP team and riders will be invited to assist the four-stroke development programme. <BR><BR>"The factory team will continue to campaign the successful two-stroke RGV500-Gamma during 2002, the first season of new regulations that allow 990cc four-strokes to compete alongside 500cc two-strokes in the premier class. The RGV-GAMMA was improved for 2001 season and has room for further<BR>development. Suzuki expects it to be competing for the World Title in 2002. In 2003, Suzuki proposes to switch the factory team to the new<BR>four-stroke. <BR><BR>"Suzuki's reaffirmed commitment to the Grand Prix World Championship continues a long and successful World Championship racing tradition<BR>spanning more than 40 years. 2003 will be Suzuki's 34th season as a 500cc cornerstone, and the factory has won six 500cc World Championships, seven consecutive manufacturer titles, and recorded 88 race wins. <BR><BR>"THE FOUR-STROKE CONCEPT <BR><BR>"Suzuki laid down the following concepts for development of its all-new racing prototype four-stroke. <BR><BR>"1) Ideal race machine package. The title-winning 2000 RGV-GAMMA is the outcome of Suzuki racing technology evolved over many years and many<BR>hundreds of races. The 2000 RGV-GAMMA has an ideal balance of engine and chassis, and is very light and compact. <BR><BR>"2) Compact design with two-stroke engine dimensions. After researching the implications of the new four-stroke GP regulations, Suzuki selected a V-four as having the best balance of characteristics. These include engine performance, weight, compactness, reliability and fuel consumption. The engine size has also been influenced by the RGV-GAMMA's two-stroke V-four engine, and designed to be compact enough to fit on the RGV-GAMMA frame, maintaining the ideal balance. <BR><BR>"3) Electronic Fuel Injection System. Suzuki introduced its fuel injection system on the 1996 TL1000S, a high-performance sports model. Since then it has been adopted on all the Suzuki's high-performance sports models, including the GSX-R series and the Hayabusa. Well-proven and highly effective, an advanced version of the same system will be used in the forthcoming GP four-stroke. Further development of the fuel injection system for racing use will in turn be used in future production motorcycles. <BR><BR>"4) New GP machine specification.<BR>"Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke V-four 16-valve engine<BR>"Engine Displacement: 990cc<BR>"Fuel Delivery System: Electronic fuel injection system<BR>"Max engine output: More than 210ps<BR>"Frame: Aluminum Twin Spar"