Suzuki ready to evaluate 2010 motor

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Having surprisingly failed to rollout its new 2010 factory GSV-R motor in testing earlier this month in Sepang, Suzuki is preparing for the debut of this year’s V4 contender in Malaysia this week.

When winter testing resumed in Malaysia in early February, veteran Italian Loris Capirossi and rookie Alvaro Bautista both used last year’s GSV-R motor.

But this week’s two-day test back at the Sepang circuit will give the pair their first opportunity to test the new long life engine after exhaustive dyno and track testing in Japan.

Factory team boss Paul Denning denied that already missing crucial time on the new engine could prove damaging to Suzuki’s hopes of turning round its flagging fortunes.

The Japanese factory had a dire 2009 and for the first time since 2004 failed to score a solitary podium.

Denning told MCN: “I don’t think a definitive 2010 bike will exist until the Qatar race.

“Whilst there were some tracks that the bike performed quite well at last year and allowed Loris to push really hard, clearly there were a lot of tracks where we were very poor at and the last race of the season (in Valencia) was the worst of the year.

“We weren’t in a strong position going into November, so the target has to be to make sure we arrive at the first race in a much better shape and a more consistent bike than we had a year ago.”

Denning was cagey about revealing too many details of the engine that Capirossi and former 125GP world champion Bautista will test in Sepang this week.

But he added: “It will have some quite big differences in terms of engine character.

“Design will be similar but it will be easier to ride and help the rear grip a fair bit as well. But the firing order is the same.

“It will also be the spec that we hope will run for the three Grand Prix distance that they will need to do this year.

“So much engine work is done on bench testing and dyno and so much of the target is durability for this year.

“That takes very expensive and special components that have very long lead times and now the final spec is set, the factory has been waiting for those lead times to be fulfilled.

“We did test quite a bit of stuff for the new engine in Estoril in November so its not like it has not been on track.

“The last test was almost exclusively chassis related and trying to find solutions that allow tyre warm-up performance to be a lot quicker and give the riders more feedback and more confidence in the bike to make it easier to ride.”

Denning also confirmed that more electronics updates will be available in the Far East when the second Sepang test kicks off on Thursday, Commenting on what Suzuki was trying to achieve with its 2010 factory GSV-R, Denning added: “We had a difficult season last year but Loris pushed hard at every event we went to and finished three seconds away from the win in Mugello and a decent fifth with everybody finishing in Misano.

“The bike and rider can do the job but only within a given set of parameters. There are many things to improve the package overall and the fundamental is to get the bike working in that way everywhere we go.

“That’s where Yamaha was so strong last year because it worked out of the box everywhere.

“It’s important not to be too down about the bike because when things worked it wasn’t a million miles away.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt