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Willing but unfortunately unable as frustration sets in for Suzuki technical advisor

Willing but unfortunately unable as frustration sets in for Suzuki technical advisor

After the final qualifying session of the half-litre class only two riders were unable to better yesterday´s times from the first session. One of those was pole position holder Max Biaggi, whose near perfect lap on Friday could not be beaten by anybody, and is clearly a bench mark that will prove difficult to attain in the future. However the other of those was for a sad Kenny Roberts, reigning World Champion, but with little or no hope now of retaining the title. Despite the engine revisions and the chassis tweaks and a set of successful tests in Mugello, Telefonica Movistar Suzuki´s Technical Advisor, Warren Willing, admits that the frustration is beginning to set in:

´Today there was complete confusion about the tyres we were using,´ lamented the Australian, ´Yesterday our objectives were clear and we went out and fulfilled them, today there was just confusion.´ True, yesterday it seemed that there was a light at the end of the very long Suzuki tunnel, but today, proved in the fact that Roberts remained unable to improve his time, despite having completed the same 21 laps of the track, that light seemed to be extinguished once again. ´The bike has not improved since the last race, it is still as slow as it was. You just have to look at the time on the fourth section of the track where there is the great uphill section. On that short final section alone we are losing on average 0.3 seconds.´

Willing remarked frankly, ´Unlike yesterday we ran both 17 and 16.5 inch tyres, but there was no change in performance, I will have to speak to the rider about the exact nature of the confusion and the problem.´ When asked if there was anything else up his team´s sleeve which could get them out of the hole, he replied with a simple, ´Nothing´. He added, ´The plan is the same as it was, to keep trying to do what we´ve been doing all season. We told Suzuki about the same problems eighteen months ago, but nothing has been sent to us or done about it, and I would be extremely surprised if something were to happen over the next couple of months. It´s getting more and more frustrating to see the other bikes ahead of us.´

500cc, 2001

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