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Five minutes with Valentin Menendez -responsible for Suzuki product planning in Spain – “Our GSX-R will continue to be the sales

Okay, so it’s a slow news day here. We pulled out a very brief interview we forgot to include with our track test of the 2008 Suzuki GSX-R600. It is with a Spanish Suzuki product guy, and it makes a few interesting points, at least. By the way, we will be testing the revised Suzuki against the supersport competition soon. So stay tuned.

In 2007, the GSX-R 600 was the best-selling motorcycle in Spain, wasn’t it?

“Yes. It was the best-selling supersport motorcycle thanks to it excellent balance between price, quality, and performance.

What are your sales expectations this year due to the new model’s improvements?

“We expect that the new year will again make us the sales leader in this competitive segment, and will hopefully lead to a larger lead because we offer a more complete motorcycle at the best price.”

Will you be affected by the sales crisis that some are predicting?

“We are forecasting a slow-down in sales, but we are prepared and offering a new model with many improvements that will allow us to maintain our sales.”


More and more electronics are being added to motorcycles. Will you continue down this road?

“Of course. For starters, we are the first to offer electronic power control, and we keep applying the electronics that we use on the track on our street bikes to increase safety and riding comfort.

If you keep adding electronics, how will you be able to make an affordable motorcycle in the future?

“Yes. Suzuki has always followed this philosophy and will continue to in the future.”

As far as this new GSX-R 600 is concerned, what does the customer get out of it?

“Our bike has improved a great deal and it offers more safety and improved performance-Usable performance. Furthermore, the riding position is improved, more comfortable, and there are the electronic aids. This is why we expect to move up in the market.”

Lastly, does the fact that Suzuki is not officially in the World Championship of SSP affect sales?

“It has been a few years since we’ve been officially out of SSP, but we’re competing in SBK and we are the leaders there. In all forms, in Spain, we’ve been champions of Extreme and were at the forefront of SSP with direct factory support. We understand that if we compete we sell more bikes, and I am sure that the Japanese, who are the ones who make the decision to race or not, understand this as well.”