Mar 11, 2002
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From a press release:<BR>Team Suzuki News Service<BR><BR>SUZUKI'S NEW FOUR-STROKE MEETS THE RIVALS<BR><BR>Team Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki riders Sete Gibernau and Kenny Roberts and factory colleague Akira Ryo met the new four-stroke opposition for the first time at the Catalunyan GP circuit--and their brand new GSV-R motorcycle showed a fine turn of speed at only its fourth test outside of Japan.<BR><BR>The new 990cc V4 MotoGP machine posted impressive top speed figures, with Ryo running at 308.2 kph (191.5 mph) on the kilometer straight, fourth fastest time out of the 23 four-stroke and two-stroke machines at the final European IRTA tests.<BR><BR>Ryo also posted the fastest lap time of the trio, placing tenth, with Gibernau one position and less than two-tenths slower, and Roberts 15th overall, another four tenths down.<BR><BR>Suzuki's four-stroke project is still at an early prototype stage, having been put forward by a full season to join the first year of the new 990cc MotoGP class. Originally, Suzuki had planned to release the new racer for the 2003 season.<BR><BR>SETE GIBERNAU: 11th Position, 1:46.243:<BR>"It's difficult to compare our bike with others who are a year-and-a-half in front of us in terms of development, but the team and the Suzuki factory have been working day and night, and we need to know how much more improvement is required. My motivation is high, and I'm physically ready. I hope we can get everything together so we can try to win races later this year. At this stage, we need to get better, and as long as we keep doing that race by race - closing the gap on the fastest bikes every time - then we can be satisfied we can keep that target. I can accept where we are with such a new bike, and I know Suzuki understand that we need to keep pushing hard. I will always try my hardest to make the best of what we have got."<BR><BR>KENNY ROBERTS: 15th Position, 1:46.625:<BR>"We came here to understand where we are at with this bike, and to see what we need to improve. Our position is as we anticipated, and we need to improve every aspect of the motorcycle and the tyres. There is a lot of work to be done to make this bike competitive. At the same time, the bike has run for only 14 days, and we have lost almost half that time to bad weather and other problems. We need to keep working hard."<BR><BR>KUNIO ARASE - Project Leader:<BR>"Since our earlier tests in Malaysia and Australia, we have refined the fuel injection map, and reduced the mechanical losses with a major internal change to the engine. Our next goal is to refine the exhaust system, to give more power and a better power curve. We are developing all the time."<BR><BR>GARRY TAYLOR - Team Manager:<BR>"It's been a baptism of fire. We learned a lot - including that the bike is on target at still a very early stage. The team worked well together, and got through a huge amount. We have no illusions about the fact that there is still a lot of work to be done before the bike is fully competitive."<BR>