BSB: Tough Superbike debut for new GSX-R

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It was learning weekend for the Bennetts Suzuki team as they debuted the 2017 GSX-R1000 in BSB with Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie.

The lack of dry track time severely hampered the Mallory Park-based squad, something that wasn’t helped with both Guintoli and Mackenzie crashing in the opening race. 

Mackenzie also crashed out of race two, but Guintoli stayed on to take an eighth place finish as he struggled to get the GSX-R turning as well as he’d like. The Frenchman also spoke during the weekend about how much power the engine is making and how they were working on making that power usable.

“I expected it to be a weekend of learning, and we’ve done some good work with the bike,” Guintoli explained. “There’s definitely lots more to come but also some real strong points. We definitely don’t need any more power, but we need to manage it a bit better. The bike’s also really stable, but we need to get it to turn a bit better.”


The weekend wasn’t much more enjoyable for Bennetts Suzuki’s sister team either. While Buildbase Suzuki rookie Bradley Ray impressed in practice to take a top ten grid spot, he was first to miss out on the opening race after an ignition problem on the warm-up lap and that DNS would mean he’d start race two from the back of the grid. 

While the Superbike riders struggled, the squad’s Superstock 1000 rider Richard Cooper showed the GSX-R’s potential with a hard fought victory in their second race of the weekend. 

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing