Crescent Suzuki has ended 2013 with a comprehensive four-day test with new signing Eugene Laverty that the team believes will be critical in building a concerted attack on next year’s eni FIM Superbike World Championship.
Laverty had his first experience of the Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R during an extended test at the 4,423m Jerez circuit in Spain. The Irishman has joined the team fresh from finishing as runner-up in this season’s championship, following his nine wins throughout the year. He quickly got to grips with the Suzuki and was joined at the test by his new Crew Chief Phil Marron, as the pair took their first-steps with the team. Laverty evaluated differing set-ups with the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki, as he familiarised himself with the bike’s performance and handling capabilities. Following the completion of the test Laverty and the whole team were pleased with the work that they had undertaken and will now weigh-up all the data and information gathered, to continue with preparations for the 2014 season.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s other 2014 rider was also present at the test, but due to contractual agreements with his present manufacturer, the team is unable to make any official comment regarding Laverty’s team-mate until January.
Voltcom Crescent Suzuki now returns to base in England to continue working exhaustively throughout the winter test ban – which starts on December 1st and runs through until January 15th – to make the Suzuki GSX-R1000 as competitive as it can be for the first race of the season, which is scheduled for Sunday 23rd February at Phillip Island in Australia.
“It has been an eventful test and I want to say a big thank-you to my new team for making it possible to stay on for the extra days – it made a big difference and I was fortunate that we could do it. We had a really positive day yesterday and made quite a bit of headway with the Suzuki GSX-R. It has a good base-setting, great feedback from the chassis and the potential to be really successful, but we still have a bit of work to do to get there. We definitely have the capability to be competitive and to win races but we need to do some fine tuning – especially with corner exit and electronic control strategies. Crescent has some very capable people and I am confident we can take big steps. It is now a matter of time to get things right ready for the new season, so I will be looking forward to what the guys can do over the break before we test again in January.
“It was also good to have my new team-mate at the test. I am looking forward to working with him next year and it was great to have someone as keen as he is on the other side of the garage! I have had team-mates that have never been that eager to go testing, but he was right on it and looked fast out there.”
Paul Denning – Team Manager:
“It was very encouraging to have the complete 2014 Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team together for the first time and to make a proper start on our preparations for next year, although Eugene had some technical issues over the first two-days with some unusual electronic system problems. Frankly we never quite got to the bottom of the issue and it did restrict Eugene a bit, but we were able to prepare a second bike and extend the test. He then managed to get a proper feeling for the bike, and what is required in readiness for next January’s tests, during the extra days.
“Eugene rode very neatly, went fast and looked completely comfortable on the Suzuki GSX-R and appeared well within his capabilities, which is a really positive sign and shows that he has more to come. We have a lot to work during the next six-weeks before we return to Spain for the first 2014 tests. We’ll all be looking forward to what can be accomplished in that time and seeing what can be achieved by our team and riders in the New Year – it certainly feels like we have positive momentum and we can’t wait to be back on track.”