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Roberts and Gibernau make their debut on board the Suzuki XREO 4 Stroke in Japan

Roberts and Gibernau make their debut on board the Suzuki XREO 4 Stroke in Japan

Kenny Roberts and Sete Gibernau have at last made their debut rides on board the new Suzuki XREO four-stroke bike, at the manufacturer´s own Ryuyo circuit in Japan. This first brief contact with the machine, which also involved testers Akira Ryo and Yukio Kagayama, was aimed at getting a very basic set-up for the two riders for when they take part in tests at Sepang and Phillip Island in the near future.

Kenny Roberts seemed satisfied by the work done at the Suzuki plant, ´Certainly at this early stage of the development Suzuki has done an incredible job with the design and concept of the whole motorcycle. The first time I saw the machine yesterday I was very impressed how tidy and complete it is at such an early stage in its development. After this initial ride, I am really encouraged with how smooth and linear the power delivery is. It was difficult to tell any real physical difference between the XRE0 and the RGV in riding position at this test.´

Roberts´ co-rider in the MotoGP World Championship this season is once again the Spaniard, Sete Gibernau, and he commented, ´Obviously you can´t forget that this is a brand new bike, but my first impressions are very positive. We obviously started later on our four-stroke project compared to the other factories and we are going to have to work hard to get on the pace. But I´ve never been scared of hard work and Kenny and I have to work harder and closer than ever if we are to improve.´

Gibernau, who won his first GP on board the RGV 500 last season, added, ´The chassis is good, the engine is good, the tyres, suspension and brakes are all good. We just have to concentrate on matching everything up and making the whole thing work. The team has the potential to do the job and we are all looking in the same direction.´

500cc, 2001, Kurtis Roberts

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