Team Suzuki Press Office – April 5. FIXI Crescent Suzuki has ended a successful three-day test at Motorland Aragon in Spain, as it prepares for the forthcoming race at the same circuit later this month.
Leon Camier and Jules Cluzel both completed comprehensive test schedules which featured a mix of engine, electronics, suspension and even race start tests. Camier made a thorough evaluation of a development engine for his Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R and was pleased with the performance and durability of the up-dated motor. The engineers at Yoshimura in Japan will now further assess the new engine spec and introduce it to the team for race use as soon as possible. Camier finished the test in an unofficial second place on the time sheets and was able to spend time on the final day practicing starts, which was something that he needed to work on to give him the opportunities to get away with the front pack at the beginning of the race. He made good progress in this area and will now look to put this practice into action during the race weekend.
Cluzel made huge steps throughout the test as he continued to acquaint himself further with the Suzuki Superbike and its behaviour at different circuits. The Frenchman improved his lap-times by almost three seconds during the test and is now in a confident mood ahead of the next round. Cluzel was able to concentrate on different chassis settings to make the machine more comfortable for him to ride and to help him use his natural speed and bike control to greater effect.
FIXI Crescent Suzuki will now head back to the UK before returning to the 5,433m Spanish circuit next week to prepare for the first European race of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship, to be held on Sunday April 14th.
“It has been a good test, because we have spent a lot of time working on many details to get them right. We now have a better understanding of the engine power mapping and how it makes the bike react; we have made some very important progress in this area and will be able to move on from here. I was able to work on my starts as well and made some really positive steps with improving them. It was one of the things we really needed to work on and we were able to do a lot of work. On the final day we tried some different chassis settings and it looks like we’ve got something very interesting to work with to try and make the turning and balance of the bike better, but we will have to see how that compares the next time we are on track.”
“I’m really happy with the three days here at Aragon, we did lots of work and it has been a very good test for us. We did lots of laps on the bike and I know what to do to go fast here, which will be good for next week. We tried many settings to try and understand what is working and what is not. It was very tough on the first day because this track is a very different type to Phillip Island and you need to ride in a different style, but I was able to adapt quickly and now I understand how to go faster. I am looking forward to coming back for the race and carrying on from where we finished this week.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“This has been a very important and productive test for the FIXI Crescent Suzuki team. It has been a long time away from the track for the riders since Phillip Island and the priority was to put as many miles under the wheels as possible – especially for Jules. The whole test has been very competitive and we’ve made good progress.
“Leon was able to test the new development engine from Yoshimura and it worked faultlessly and gave a measurable performance improvement. It has now been crated up and is on its way back to Japan for further testing, before it can be introduced as soon as possible this season. He was also able to do lots of practice starts and worked on his technique as well as trying different mechanical settings of the clutch and electronic control settings – the combination worked well and we saw a massive improvement, to the point that by the end of the test each start was very competitive and he had full confidence in the launch procedure.
“Jules had a very solid three days and produced some very impressive improvements as the test progressed. He was able to work through lots of chassis settings and understand better how the Suzuki GSX-R works, and to assess both the positive and negative side of adjusting the bike’s characteristics. The miles completed – on day two alone Jules did 72 laps! – have given him a really solid base to work from as we approach a busy run of races.
“I would like to thank Yohei-san from Yoshimura for making the trip from Japan for the test; it was very important and helpful to have him here. I would also like to thank the crew for working so hard before and throughout the three days. We will be back at Aragon next week and it will be good to get back racing to see where we stack up against the other riders and machines”
Superbike Test – Combined Unofficial Lap Times: 1. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’57.7: 2 Leon Camier (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 1’58.0: 3. Jules Cluzel (FIXI Crescent Suzuki) 1’59.1: 4. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’59.3: 5. Niccolo Canapa (Ducati) 1’59.3.