Team Suzuki Press Office – October 18. FIXI Crescent Suzuki completed a three-day test at the Aragon Circuit in Spain on a very positive note as the final track action of the year now leaves the team with lots of data to assess in the workshop over the winter.
Leon Camier led the team well by recording the fastest time on day one and finished the test in third overall. He completed over 160-laps of the 5,344m Spanish circuit as he worked thorough a huge test programme with his crew to gain valuable information in readiness for next season.
The team continued to find improvements in the FIXI Crescent Suzuki and were able to get excellent feedback regarding the 17 inch wheels that everybody will be using next year. Despite strong winds that sometimes made the conditions difficult during the three days, the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R1000 showed a big improvement on the team’s previous visit to Aragon earlier in the year and leaves the whole crew in positive spirits as it plans ahead to its second season in the Superbike World Championship.
Camier was ably supported at the test by Suzuki’s Australian Superbike Champion Josh Waters. The 25-year-old has previous WSBK experience with the Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team in 2011 and was drafted in at short notice to help the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team with its plans for next season. Waters spent time learning the Aragon circuit on his first visit there – as well as acclimatising himself with the WSBK machine – before putting in many consistent laps that will supply the team with important data for the 2013 season. Waters completed over 150 circulations of the circuit and recorded the ninth quickest time of the test.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will assess its rider options over the next few days, as it looks to secure a team-mate for Camier – who pledged his future to the team earlier this month. The provisional date for the first round of 2013 is Sunday 24th February, at the Phillip Island Circuit in Australia.
“Overall, I think these tests have been very productive and we’ve been consistently fast throughout. I’m a little frustrated that the winds came up this afternoon, because otherwise I’m sure I would’ve gone quite a bit quicker. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki has come on so much since when we were here in June and as long as we can keep on improving, I’m sure we can be competitive. At the moment, I feel that there’s more work to be done on the 17 inch wheels, but the good news is that we’re not that far off. We only had some standard 17 inchers here, so I’m sure that the next set will be much better.”
“I only got the call to come here last Friday night and it was a bit of a surprise, but a really good one. I’ve never been to this track before, so I began learning which way round it went. At the same time I worked on understanding the FIXI Crescent Suzuki, which is so different to the Suzuki I race in Australia. Riding this bike makes my Aussie Suzuki feel like a street-bike! I’m very grateful for this opportunity and would like to thank the team for all their hard work and support over the three days. Like all racers, I would’ve liked to have gone faster, but conditions this afternoon didn’t allow that. Nevertheless, I’ve really enjoyed myself and the experience I’ve gained with these guys is invaluable.”
Jack Valentine – Team Manager:
“The aim of these tests was mainly to try the 17 inch wheels we’ll all be using next year. We tried them briefly here in Aragon earlier this year, but over the three days this week we were able to do a lot more work with them. Also, we wanted to compare our new found performance with what we had when we raced here in June. Aragon is a demanding track and good acceleration and power are important and we found our performance gain has increased enormously and that has made all of us at FIXI Crescent Suzuki pretty happy.
“Over the three days we’ve done a lot of work on the electronics -because of the difference in the wheel size – and have also been able to test a couple of Yoshimura engines and get some really good feedback. The team has tried some different chassis combinations – once again to do with the 17 inch wheels – so that we can get the very best out of the bike. We started the test on 16.5 inch wheels and the bike as it finished the season and Leon managed to break the lap record on day one. The acceleration and top speed have been improved and once again it shows how far we’ve come since the eighth round. Leon’s great lap times on the 17 inch wheels are a bonus and his performance here bodes well for the future.
“This was Josh’s first time at the track, so he spent the first day learning it and, to make his life easier, we started him off on 16.5 inch wheels. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki is completely different to his championship winning bike in Australia and so he’s had that to learn that as well. He’s put in a lot of work during these tests and, all things considered, I think he’s done a terrific job, despite the technical problems which held up his progress today. Overall, I’m really, really pleased with these tests. According to the Pirelli technician, if we’d been racing, we would’ve been challenging for the podium and that’s a great feeling with which to end the season.”
Aragon Test Overall Times: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’57.6: 2. Max Biaggi (Aprilia) 1’57.8: 3. Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 1’58.1: 4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’58.1: 5. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’58.4. 9. Josh Waters (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 2’00.2.