MotoGP: Suzuki nearing definitive 2008 GSV-R decision

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Suzuki is closing in on deciding what the final specification its 2008 factory GSV-R machine will be after a disappointing start to the new MotoGP season.

Having made big strides during the first 800cc campaign, Suzuki has lost some of the momentum gained and in the first two races, Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi have raced hybrid 2007/08 machines.

Factory team boss Paul Denning believes it will be the Shanghai or Le Mans races next month when the final version of this year’s GSV-R will appear.

The problems with the early 2008 Suzuki GSV-R were centred round handling issues from a new chassis, and Paul Denning told MCN: “The 2008 bike was a modified version of 2007 and it will come back.

“Essentially it was really on the chassis side from let’s say an engineering perspective that gave us a problem. They were only very small changes from the 2007 bike.

“But from a riding point of view and a rider confidence point of view there was quite a big change but unfortunately it didn’t manifest itself immediately in our testing results.

“So what were the specific problems with the 2008 bike, which forced Suzuki to hurriedly roll out last year’s bodywork and chassis?

“The feeling was that the ‘08 bike was just very easy to manoeuvre an easy to handle but just too light, like the tyres weren’t being forced into the ground, almost a downforce type feeling or lack of it.

“The ‘07 bike immediately gave that better contact feel and confidence that they can feel the tyres and understand exactly what it is happening and understand the limit of the grip more easily.

“I think now we are a lot closer to having a properly competitive package than we were at the start of the Qatar race.

“The bike will evolve and I would imagine at Shanghai or Le Mans you will see a bike that probably looks a bit different and features the best parts of the two chassis options that we have.

“That will then be the definitive package for the rest of the season.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt