The factory Alstare Suzuki squad completed their first shakedown test of the all-new GSX-R1000 in Phillip Island Australia last week and MCN have exclusive pictures of the new bike.
Riding unbranded bikes, riders Max Neukirchner and Yukio Kagayama completed 420 laps during the three day test with Kagayama reportedly lapping faster on the all new bike than he managed during the race at the circuit earlier in the year.
The Japanese rider had already completed an initial shakedown of the bike in Japan and used the three days to test a host of chassis components and claimed that the 2009 bike is already handling better than the fully developed 2008 machine.
“My first impression of the new bike is that it handles better than last year’s bike, but we shall have to see if that is still the case once we develop it further. Of course, we tested many things these past three days and have done a lot of work with the chassis, suspension and different links.
"We tried different geometries and different swing-arm lengths - all the normal stuff. I started off trying to find the right balance of the bike for me to be comfortable and make it easy to ride and because of this we didn’t use any of the electronics. We tried some different brakes on the second day and some long runs on day three to find out how the new bike affects the tyres and their consistency.
"All in all, I am happy because the tests went well, I had no crash and was faster than before here. Now we need to work on the rest of the bike and the electronics and be ready for the start of next season.
German sensation Max Neukirchner got to ride the ’09 bike for the first time in Australia and despite a fast crash on day two and not lapping as fast as his team-mate, left the test optimistic about the potential of the new machine.
He said: “I think that this bike handles better than my bike of last year and its chassis feels good. We did a lot of work, starting with the chassis, suspension, different swing-arms and links and generally I tried to get to know the bike and how it works.
On day three we did some long runs to try and find a good set-up to conserve tyre life, but we didn’t really do any work on the electronics because we wanted to understand what the bike was doing first. Each day, I got more confident in the bike and more comfortable.
"I am sure I would’ve gone faster at the end, were it not for a swing-arm that was a bit too long. But, I’m happy generally and looking forward to the next time on the bike and improving it for the start of the season.”
The Alstare Suzuki team now head to Kylami in South Africa for the three day top teams test where they will be on track alongside Xerox Ducati, Yamaha Italia, Ten Kate Honda, Aprilia and BMW.