Team Suzuki Press Office – January 16. The 2013 eni FIM Superbike World Championship gets underway this week for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team as it heads to Spain for two shakedown tests.
Leon Camier and new signing Jules Cluzel are both eager to get back on track and begin their preparations for the season that lies ahead. Following extensive work at the team’s headquarters throughout the winter, the pair will use the two tests to assess the progress the crew has made with the Yoshimura-powered GSX-R. The first test at Almeria in Spain will also see Cluzel making his debut for the team, as well as it being his initial outing on a full Superbike.
The first of the back-to-back Spanish tests will be at the Almeria circuit on the 17th and 18th of January. At just over 4,000m long, this technical circuit has corners which feature double and even triple apexes and a long back straight to test high-speed capability. The team will then travel to Jerez in southern Spain, to a circuit which is new to the World Superbike calendar this season. Jerez has a fast and flowing nature and is a perfect test venue for rider and machine alike. The undulating layout, hard-braking corners and endless camber changes over the 4,423m track, makes the circuit one of the best locations in the world for both testing and racing.
The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team will take to the track for the two-day test at Jerez on the 22nd of January, in what will be the team’s final European outing before heading to Australia for the first round on the season at Phillip Island, which will also feature two further tests in the schedule before the first race of the season gets underway on Sunday 24th February.
“I’m really looking forward to the test and seeing the progress the guys have made in the winter. I know that they have refined the bike quite a bit and that is has more power than last year, so I’m really excited about riding it. We will also have the new 17inch wheels to test, so it will be good to see how the bike behaves with them. I’m sure, that with everything the crew has done back at the workshop, we will be a lot nearer where we want to be. I’ve managed to do lots of riding during the break, including some Enduro and push-bike trials, and I’m off to do a bit of dirt-track before I go to Almeria, so that should sharpen me up nicely for the two tests.”
“I’ve had over two months of waiting to ride the FIXI Crescent Suzuki GSX-R and am now really excited that the time is here to get out on track. I don’t really have an idea of what to expect from a 1000cc machine, how it will feel and handle and mostly how much quicker it will be, but I know I am really looking forward to whatever happens. I have done lots of training through the winter to get fitter and stronger and I had an operation to cure my arm-pump issues and that has been a success, so I feel really good and ready to go. I’ve ridden at Jerez before, but have never been to Almeria, so it’s a good place to start my experience on the bike, as I don’t know the track or the GSX-R, so I can take it steady to start with and get to learn both.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“The FIXI Crescent Suzuki team has been working relentlessly since the end of last season to produce a faster, sharper and more competitive GSX-R1000. These two tests in Spain will give us the opportunity to understand what we have achieved, but at the same time we need to manage our expectations and treat them as shakedown tests – the laps in Spain will provide Jules with his first kilometres on a Superbike and allow Leon time to get back up to speed after a long winter break.
“The atmosphere in the team is very positive and the attention to detail that the guys here – and our partners at Yoshimura and all our technical suppliers – have put into the bike has been extremely impressive. Without turning a wheel, we know that the technical platform of the 2013 FIXI Crescent Suzuki is much stronger and it will be nice to start working with it later this week.”