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Veteran racer Jean Michel Bayle steps in to help Suzuki

Veteran racer Jean Michel Bayle steps in to help Suzuki

Veteran racer Jean Michel Bayle steps in to help Suzuki

Multi off-road World champion and former GP racer Jean Michel Bayle will be testing the Suzuki GSV-R MotoGP bike in the week after the Spanish GP to help speed up development of the new 2003 prototype.

Bayle, who is riding for the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) this year, will be joined by team regulars Kenny Roberts and John Hopkins for the tests, scheduled over three days at the Catalunya GP circuit outside Barcelona.

The Frenchman (33) climbs on the powerful 200mph V4 race bike for the first time on Tuesday, when the GP machine will be run by SERT, fresh from first and second places in the Le Mans 24-Hour race.

´We are very pleased Jean Michel will be able to help our test programme,´ said Team Manager Garry Taylor. ´He has extensive knowledge of how to set up a bike, expertise in many forms of racing, and experience also on four-strokes.´ As well as Motocross and US Supercross titles, Bayle raced in GPs in both the 250cc and 500cc classes from 1993 to 1999.
´Our results so far this year show that the MotoGP bike is not yet at its best, the bike has all the promise, but it is packed with innovative engineering, and we are working to get some of the new ground rules established before we can move forward to realise the full potential,´ said Taylor.

´I have been riding for Suzuki last year and this year, and this is a very interesting part of the job,´ Bayle remarked. ´I know they are having some trouble with the bike. The riders have the pressure to perform, and not always time to concentrate on the small details. They are thinking only about lap time. In racing, you try to improve the bike for the next five minutes. I can concentrate only on the overall picture of the machine.´

Bayle is a well-respected analytical rider, his wide experience off-road and on asphalt giving him a unique portfolio of expertise on which to draw. ´I have ridden so many different bikes with different behaviour and settings. It was always a good point of mine to have a feeling for the bike and to explain what is happening. For me, it´s just natural,´ he concluded.

MotoGP, 2003, Gran Premio Marlboro de España

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