After strong performances from both Alex Lowes and new signing Randy De Puniet on the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki in recent Jerez testing, team principal Paul Denning has every right to feel positive about the 2015 prospects of the GSX-R1000.
With sweeping changes to the WSB engine regulations to reduce horsepower and thus cut costs, Denning feels there is a lot of potential from the 2015-spec power plant on the Gixxer.
“The biggest change for everybody, except Ducati, is the engine spec,” stated Denning. “The evidence from what our riders are saying, from comparison with the 2014 engine and comparison on track against the other four cylinder bikes, is that the playing field is a little bit more level than it was. It is early days but it looks reasonably positive.”
The Suzuki now appears to be able to get more out of its overall engine performance after the tuning regulations presented Crescent’s technical partners Yoshimura with a different challenge than just trying for factory levels of horsepower at the very top end.
“I would say the engine character is better,” stated Denning. “I would say that both riders, with the new spec, are very happy with the power delivery. They have got it more in their hand in the upper midrange. At the moment Yoshimura have done a super job. Within a more restrictive regulation they have produced an engine that you would probably choose to race instead of the 2014 one. I think if you asked the Kawasaki or Honda guys ‘which engine would you race?’ I think it is quite clear that last year’s, at the moment, would be their preference. For us, the new one would be our preference. That is positive. I am not suggesting that we will have the fastest bike on track by any means, but if the gap is reduced, or even level, then that would be a super result for us.”
Denning is also happy to follow the new electronics rules because it makes no real difference to his Motec-supplied team that there is a cost-cap for ECU and sensor packages, with the price set at a maximum of 8,000 Euros. Many other teams have had to make wholesale changes to their ECUs, sensor arrays and complexity of their systems to match the new cost capping limits. Not Crescent, it appears.
“Our electronics was within the cost cap anyway,” said Denning about the team’s 2014 material, before clarifying one point about the 2015 set-up. “There will be some sensor specification changes but only going from a front pot that cost £400 to one that costs £200. The bottom line is that the system we have on the machine is within that overall cost limit.”