Suzuki eye more consistent GSV-R in 2011

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Suzuki will embark on another mission to make its factory GSV-R a more consistent performer across a wider range of conditions in 2011.

A major weakness of the V4 contender has been its ability to be competitive in cool and cold temperatures while the bike has proven to have top six potential in much hotter conditions.

Alvaro Bautista scored a best result of fifth in his rookie campaign in 2010 in Catalunya and Sepang where the action took place in searing hot conditions.

Yet in cooler conditions like those experienced at Silverstone and Phillip Island, the Spaniard was unable to fight his way into the top ten.

Developing a bike to work in a broader range of conditions has been a key target for Suzuki’s race department and factory team boss Paul Denning that priority remained for 2011.

But Denning told MCN: “It seems that lack of consistency hurt us again last season. It has not been through a lack of trying on the factory’s part to improve that situation.

“The controlled tyre situation is the same for everybody. But you can’t tune out a lack of feel or grip with the tyres anymore and when conditions are bad like in Estoril, or when grip is down for any reason like cold weather, it seems that our bike suffers more than everyone else.

“Everybody suffers a bit and if the field in general is suffering by losing half-a-second, we probably suffer double or triple. We are trying to give that additional feel back to the rider and so when there is a lack of grip they can still feel the tyres and the track.

“It is impossible to push hard on a racing motorcycle if you haven’t got confidence and feedback and understanding in the grip levels beneath you and that has been a fundamental problem.”

Denning said Suzuki had tried a variety of solutions previously with only minimal success and he added: “That consistency has been improved by chassis with different stiffness and swingarms.

“We’ve also worked on aerodynamics and on engine character to provide smoother initial connection, so the engine is not upsetting the grip. But it has improved a small amount and not a big step.

“Therefore we have still seen that lack of consistency that will remain a key area to focus on improving for 2011.”

Suzuki will field only Bautista next season having rocked Dorna by announcing it will scale back its involvement to just one bike as a result of the global economic crisis.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt