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Suzuki arrive in Le Mans after intense Michelin tyre tests

Suzuki arrive in Le Mans after intense Michelin tyre tests

Suzuki arrive in Le Mans after intense Michelin tyre tests

Kenny Roberts Jr. and Sete Gibernau arrive at Le Mans this weekend on the back of intense tyre development work carried out after their first race with the Suzuki GSV-R on Michelin rubber at Jerez two weeks ago. The Telefónica MoviStar Suzuki riders stayed on in Spain, where they finished eighth and ninth, for two days of testing and then travelled to Clermont Ferrand, to Michelin's own track, for specially controlled tests in wet conditions.

`Jerez was like our first test, and though our aim is to be in a position to win races sooner rather than later, there were many reasons to be pleased with the machine's qualifying performance and two top-ten finishes,´ explained Team manager Garry Taylor. `The extra tests have given us a chance to build on our race experience with the Michelins, and look for another step towards our ultimate goal with the new machine. The mood of the riders and the whole team is very positive.´

Roberts, who had hinted at his desire to switch from Dunlop to Michelin before the decision was announced, commented: `Every test we do is beneficial - whether it goes well or badly. We´re finding things all the time that are going to make the bike better. At Jerez we found some aspects of the chassis that we need to address. As for the wet tests - I've always enjoyed riding in the rain, but our settings in Japan, where it rained only on race day, were something of a crap shoot. We're going to Le Mans a lot more well rounded.´

Gibernau added: `I was really pleased to get back to familiar tyres to concentrate full on developing the bike and not tyres as well. We're making progress all the time. My team and I got our heads together at the tests to keep the improvement going. We go racing to win, not for top-ten finishes, and not to talk about. We'll keep working until we get there, and if we can maintain the rate of progress since we first started testing in January I am confident we will get there soon.´

MotoGP, 2002

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