Chris Vermeulen desperate for engine upgrade

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Chris Vermeulen is hoping Suzuki will have another upgraded version of its factory GSV-R motor ready to test in Phillip Island this week.

Improving engine performance is one of the key targets for the Japanese factory ahead of 2009, with Vermeulen and veteran Italian team-mate Loris Capirossi unhappy with engine developments during last season.

The pair tested a new V4 motor in Valencia in the first winter test for 2009, but both have demanded a revised spec for an upcoming three-day test session in Phillip Island.

Vermeulen, who is the only rider to win for Suzuki in the four-stroke era, told MCN: “I made it clear that we need now to work on the engine and that we have an evolution from the Valencia test engine for the Phillip Island test.

“uzuki have definitely worked hard and made something because Valencia was the first time we have had a big step in engine performance in over 12 months. It doesn’t need to be race ready for durability but we need to try their next idea. They realise that, so let’s hope they produce it.

Vermeulen said engine performance in 2008 pretty much remained static, while Suzuki’s rivals all took major steps forward.

He added: “When I first rode the Suzuki the end of 2005, until the end of 2007 I believe that Suzuki made a bigger step than any manufacturer by far and we really closed the gap and things were looking good.

“But the last 12 months of development they have put as much or more effort in, but we haven’t gone the right way for whatever reason. They realise they are not the biggest manufacturer and that resources are more difficult, especially human resources. It’s not about just getting people but people with knowledge.”

How do you think Suzuki will perform in 2009? Post a comment below.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt