Hopkins: More horsepower remains Suzuki's main target

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Suzuki still needs to squeeze more horsepower out of its factory GSV-R motor to get close to threatening Ducati’s early 2007 dominance.

That’s the opinion of American John Hopkins, who praised the Japanese factory after he received two new engine upgrades ahead of this weekend’s Italian GP in Mugello.

Hopkins ran a revised V4 engine spec at the French GP which included modifications to help with mid-range power and corner exit acceleration.

He then tested a further step in testing in Le Mans that helped with corner entry stability.

The American said: “I can brake later and it’s more stable and sits to the ground better. When we’re going in to the apex of the corner sometimes we get some bucking, and some extra engine braking that we don’t need which causes some pumping and the bike to slide off the edge of the tyre. 

“But the new spec is a lot smoother and more controlled. It’s still slowing us down and keeping the front wheel planted,” said Hopkins.

He added: “I’m extremely happy with the way Suzuki is performing this year. Right out of the box we had an extremely good package and as everyone else gets better Suzuki is climbing the ladder with them.”

Hopkins though believes outright horsepower is still high on Suzuki’s priority list as the factory looks to build on its first ever four-stroke MotoGP victory thanks to Chris Vermeulen’s wet French GP success.

Hopkins added: “Just overall horsepower, that’s something we need to gain. Right now we have a smooth running bike and our engine management is better than Ducati.

“At some circuits this could be an advantage, but right now at horsepower tracks and getting out of the corners the Ducati has the advantage.

“I know the Suzuki handles better than the Ducati, it’s just an overall horsepower thing. I think everyone is in the same boat, losing ground to Ducati down the straights.”


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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt