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Suzuki pack up pleased in Sepang

Suzuki pack up pleased in Sepang

Suzuki pack up pleased in Sepang

Team Suzuki MotoGP packed their boxes after four days in Sepang reporting positive progress with the latest evolution GSV-R, codenamed XRE2.3, in its first test.

Under the watchful eye of new Team Manager Paul Denning, Kenny Roberts and John Hopkins evaluated engine and chassis development of the new machine and were both impressed with the improvement in both power and handling capabilities.

Technical partners Bridgestone and Motul were present throughout the test, providing new rubber compounds and oil for the team to evaluate, and Denning says a strong bond is already forming between existing and new crew members.

"After all the waiting it is very encouraging to have got the first test completed," said Denning. "Suzuki has done a great job with the engine performance over the winter and the assistance this weekend from Bridgestone, Motul and all other technical partners has been fantastic.

"The signs are there that we are on the right route and we are working hard to make the GSV-R the best it can possibly be. I'd like to thank the factory engineers, all four riders, including Nobu and Akiyoshi-San and all the crew for their hard work and great attitude during this crucial first test."

Roberts, who won the 500cc World Championship in 2000, was equally encouraged by the test and says the bike is a vast improvement on the 2004 model he rode to 18th in the championship.

"It was great to be back out on my GSV-R again, but to be honest this one has a completely different performance potential," said the American. "The guys have certainly made some changes and I believe we are on the way to being a force to be reckoned with this season.

"Sure there is still a lot to do-and everyone knows it-but for me this is the best start to a season for several years."

For Hopkins the test was as much a test of his own physical condition as the bike's, after undergoing surgery to remove metal plates and pins from his legs during the winter, and he was pleased with the performance of both.

"This was a good work-out for the team and me, it was nice to start working with all the guys again," said the youngster. "I'm really excited about all the GSV-R's changes, the jump in performance since the end of last season is the biggest I've experienced while riding for Suzuki and I'm certainly looking forward to the next test.

"My body is less than perfect right now and the GSV-R needs to improve further, but I really think we can be part of the fast gang in 2005."

Team Suzuki MotoGP returns to Sepang for a further test on February 9th, the second in its gruelling pre-season schedule before the MotoGP World Championship begins at Jerez in Spain on April 10th.

MotoGP, 2005

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