Sylvain Guintoli got a first taste of Suzuki’s all new GSX-R1000R in a private test with the factory Yoshimura Suzuki squad at Sepang last week.
The Frenchman will ride the new GSX-R in the Bennetts-backed Hawk Racing squad in this year’s MCE British Superbike Championship and was flown to Malaysia to test with Yoshimura alongside Suzuki’s World Endurance and MotoAmerica Superbike riders.
Having had the new GSX-R for quite some time, Yoshimura have already undergone a decent amount of development work to turn the bike into a full fat race bike ahead of the 2017 season.
“There is a noticeable increase in power compared to the old bike,” he told MCN. “The engine character is like nothing I have ever felt; it feels like MotoGP power in the way it is delivered. It’s so smooth and full everywhere, with the new variable valve technology in the engine it feels powerful from the bottom of the revs all the way up and it revs quite high too.
“You can tell there’s already been a lot of work done by Yoshimura. It’s already a proper race bike and it’s got everything on it. It’s full factory! It feels quick, it’s impossible to say without racing against Superbikes but it does feel quick. I’m really looking forward to testing it in BSB spec now.”
While the bike ridden in Sepang was of a different spec to the machine Guintoli will race in BSB, Bennetts Suzuki boss Steve Hicken told MCN they have been working 'very closely' with Yoshimrua over the last few months and will continue to do so as the season commences.
The Mallory Park-based team have been working on the new GSX-R since taking delivery of their first bike in November last year and with six more bikes having arrived earlier this month, the plan is for the former WSB star and team-mate Taylor Mackenzie to get out for a shakedown test in the coming weeks.
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