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Erv Kanemoto helping to lift Team Suzuki

Erv Kanemoto helping to lift Team Suzuki

Erv Kanemoto helping to lift Team Suzuki

Erv Kanemoto has made something of a low-key return to the MotoGP paddock this season, slipping virtually unnoticed into the Team Suzuki box during preseason tests to help old friend Kenny Roberts Jr. get to grips with the new version of the Suzuki GSV-R.

The highly-respected race engineer, who recently ended a long association with Honda after an intense development period for the Japanese factory with Bridgestone tyres, has been at his American compatriot's side virtually ever since and his input already seems to be paying dividends, with Roberts reporting major progress on the bike at the final preseason tests and at the first round of the season in South Africa.

The change in both the bike and the rider was quickly recognized by Suzuki, who have moved swiftly to make Kanemoto an official fixture in their garage as Roberts' chief engineer, but the American was typically modest about his role.

"The people who have been here before have done a lot of work and everything that you see now has happened from the testing and racing of last year, so it's difficult to say what my position or influence it might have," Kanemoto explained.

"I think that from the information that I've got from the team that it's closed the gap, but to get to the very top will take a little while. If Suzuki and everyone here works at the rate they have been, I think it's possible to close up. It's hard to say if we could get to the very top in a short time, but I think that over a period of time they'll close up."

Hear what else Kanemoto had to say about his return to the MotoGP paddock by clicking the video feature link at the top of the page.

MotoGP, 2004

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