MotoGP: Suzuki roll out 2008 prototype MotoGP bike
Japanese factory Suzuki gave a public debut to their new 2008 GSV-R MotoGP challenger in the Twin Ring Motegi today.
Tested by development rider Nobuatsu Aoki, the new bike featured completely new bodywork and a redesign of the positioning of key components like the pneumatic valve gas canister.
The fairing though is believed to be an evolution of new bodywork that was first tested after the Barcelona GP in Catalunya back in June.
The test bike also features an exposed exhaust system.
Suzuki confirmed the bike has been tested extensively in Japan prior to today’s public outing, and depending on whether enough parts can be manufactured in time, the bike maybe raced later this season.
Nobuatsu Aoki has a wild card slot at next month’s Malaysian MotoGP in Sepang and he may get the chance to test next year’s prototype machine in full race conditions.
Aoki said the prime focus of testing at present was on a revised chassis, designed to help with handling at part lean angle. This has been one of Suzuki’s weaknesses at tracks like Phillip Island, but Nobuatsu Aoki told MCN the new version is a definite improvement.
Aussie Chris Vermeulen was present at the test but he didn’t ride the new bike, instead concentrating on tyre testing for Bridgestone.
Vermeulen also tested Nissin brakes today instead of the team’s normal supplier Brembo.
Nobuatsu Aoki said: “The bike seems to be better for handling and is certainly an improvement on the current chassis.”
Suzuki rolled out their new machine on the same day that Italian Valentino Rossi rode an early Yamaha YZR-M1 prototype.
The Japanese factories are looking to respond to the brilliant performance in 2007 of Casey Stoner’s Ducati GP7.
Having won the MotoGP world championship in yesterday’s Japanese MotoGP, Ducati were already on the plane back to Europe, most likely nursing severe hangovers after Casey Stoner handed the Bologna factory its first premier class world crown.
Former world champion Nicky Hayden was the lone Honda rider in Motegi.
Team-mate Dani Pedrosa flew home to Europe after his massive crash in yesterday’s rain-hit 24-lap race. The Spaniard suffered a suspected broken left big toe, but was awaiting the results of further medical checks.
Nicky Hayden tested a new swingarm, clutch and a batch of new Michelin rubber, but there was no sign of Honda’s new RC212V.
Coming soon: Exclusive video of Suzuki’s 2008 GSV-R See the October 3, 2007 issue of MCN for full technical analysis of Suzuki and Yamaha’s new machines.