Team Suzuki Press Office – January 23. FIXI Crescent Suzuki has made a very positive start to the new 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship season following two successful Spanish tests.
The final day of the test at Jerez today gave both Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel a full day of fine weather to assess their respective Suzuki GSX-Rs and complete their pre-season testing schedule. Camier looked extremely impressive as he recorded the fourth-fastest time of the day, with his quickest lap coming on the final one of his 77 circulations. Camier’s best time of 1’41.184 was less than half-of-a-second off the top-time set by Marco Melandri on a BMW. The Englishman was able to evaluate the new-spec engine, as well a try out the 17” wheels that WSBK will be using this season and test new electronic software and mapping during the final day.
Cluzel continued to make an impact on his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and finished the day in an impressive ninth place. He completed 52 laps of the Jerez circuit and clocked a best time of 1’42.635. He was hindered slightly by a small crash and some technical issues that cost him valuable track time, but was pleased with his efforts and is looking forward to the next test.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now examine all the data garnered from the two Spanish tests and use it to make improvements for the next outing at Phillip Island, when the team will have four days of testing in readiness for the first race of the 2013 season, which is scheduled for Sunday February 24th at the Australian circuit.
“To be honest I am quite happy with the way everything has gone at the test. We had both a wet and dry day, so we were able to try lots of different things. The one thing I would say though is that I was riding a bit useless at times and that did have an effect on the overall lap-times. I know that its achievable to be up there with front guys and due to the fact that we have only had half-of-a-day dry time here at Jerez and some of the riders in-front of me were here for three days late last year, then I am very positive about the performance. It will be good to get to Australia and push the bike a bit harder, as it’s a much quicker track and we’ll be able to see what it can do there.”
“It has been a really good test in both the wet and dry conditions. At the end of today I was able to push on a bit and understand more how the FIXI Crescent Suzuki behaves. I really enjoyed myself and I know that I can go faster. I did a 10-lap run today, which is my longest so far on a Superbike. I have learned a lot of things, but know there is more to come and I look forward to Phillip Island and doing some more long runs.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It has been a bit frustrating overall with the weather, as the track didn’t really dry out properly until this afternoon. All things considered though we have had a good test and are only just behind our competitors despite them having more track time from the test last year – so to be so close in such a short time has got to be a good signal for the season ahead. Leon rode really well and as far as I can see he didn’t make any mistakes at all. He did seem to ride inside himself, but he was very smooth and seemed to keep perfect lines all through the test. The FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R is certainly going in the right direction, but it is difficult to really analyse its performance here as the riders have to control wheelies and keep the bike calm, rather than being able to use full gas, which is something we will be able to do at the next test.
“Jules looked really good in the rain yesterday, but he was frustrated by a small crash today that cost him time as the bike was repaired and then he had a little technical issue that kept him in the garage. His attitude has been first class though, he is positive and upbeat and his lap-times are pretty good considering he’s had little experience on a Superbike. Once he’s got a few more laps under his belt, I’m sure he’ll find it a bit easier and he’ll become more competitive and be up there with the fast guys.”