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Garry Taylor: "We're not there yet"

Garry Taylor: 'We're not there yet'

Garry Taylor: "We're not there yet"

Suzuki Team Manager Garry Taylor says his riders are getting closer to their targets but have ‘no room for complacency' as they prepare for the eleventh round of the season at Estoril this weekend. Both Kenny Roberts and John Hopkins showed glimpses of podium form in a weekend of mixed fortunes and weather at Brno, with further progress in two days of tests enhancing their potential in the final six races of the season.

"There was nothing earth-shattering in terms of new parts or equipment, but the tests went very well," says Taylor. "Our riders concentrated on settings and learned a lot that should help us in Portugal, where handling is very important. Gregorio Lavilla, our official test rider, worked with new Bridgestone tyres and had a lot of good things to say.

"It seems at every race we're getting closer now – both Kenny and John put up lap times at Brno that were right up at the top. But there's no room and no time for complacency. We're not there yet.

"The factory is still working flat out on important machine developments and the team is doing the same thing to get the best out of every new part and every new idea. It's tough but exciting and hugely enjoyable and we're all looking forward to Portugal and beyond."

Roberts agrees that the GSV-R is close to becoming a competitive package, but was typically cautious ahead of the weekend's action. "We've shown at several tracks now that we have improved the combination for a fast lap time," he said. "We learned some more things at the tests after Brno. It's all real progress, but there are still more things we need before we can take the next step.

"We struggled somewhat at Estoril last year but things are different this year at a lot of tracks, so I'm not going to prejudge this one… just get the bike as best possible and look forward to the race. We're getting closer."

Hopkins is also looking forward to the Portuguese race after being forced out of action with a mechanical problem at Brno when charging towards a top six finish.

"Brno and Estoril are two different tracks," commented the youngster. "Portugal is bumpier, tighter and not as wide, but we found some things in the tests that I think are going to be useful. We tried a lot of suspension stuff with Ohlins and it has improved stability.

"Portugal was hard last year, but so was Brno last year. The way the bike's reacting now, I think the Suzuki will have a lot of advantages there and I'm looking forward to it a lot."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRANDE PREMIO MARLBORO DE PORTUGAL

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