Guin­toli flat out in bid to win

Mo­togp ● WSB ● BSB ● Roads ● Off-road 14-PAGE SPE­CIAL First test for Guin­toli as team take de­liv­ery oof all new bike and fac­tory Yoshimura parts

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - OLI RUSHBY MCN BSB RE­PORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­

While MCN’S Michael Neeves was sam­pling the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the first time at the world press launch in the Aus­tralian sun­shine (see page 4), 2014 World Su­per­bike Cham­pion Syl­vain Guin­toli got his first taste of the bike he’ll ride in the MCE Bri­tish Su­per­bike Cham­pi­onship this year at a cold, wet Mal­lory Park.

The French­man turned in 50 laps of the Le­ices­ter­shire cir­cuit in close to freez­ing con­di­tions as his new Ben­netts Suzuki team run by Hawk Rac­ing put the bike, which they’ve been work­ing on since Novem­ber, through its paces for the first time.

The sole pur­pose of the test was to assess how well the Bsb-spec MOTEC elec­tron­ics would work on the bike, sav­ing the team valu­able time when they head out to Spain to be­gin their more ex­ten­sive test­ing pro­gramme next month.

“This test was what you’d call a shakedown,” Guin­toli told MCN. “We needed to check how the bike gets on with the BSB MOTEC system as it was the first time it had run on it. We need to be able to get to the first test in Spain hav­ing al­ready checked that the bike is work­ing and that’s what this test al­lowed us to do. If the first time you take the bike out is in Spain, you can end up spend­ing a lot of time in the box fix­ing prob­lems and that’s not what you want when you have good weather con­di­tions.”

The test was the first time Guin­toli,

who has been in WSB since 2009, had rid­den with BSB’S spec elec­tron­ics, which in­cludes min­i­mal rider aids and no trac­tion con­trol.

“Let’s just say rid­ing with­out trac­tion con­trol at a wet Mal­lory Park with three de­gree track tem­per­a­ture was in­ter­est­ing, but the feel­ing was good. Ev­ery­thing was work­ing which is the most im­por­tant thing. We do th­ese tests ex­pect­ing teething prob­lems but we didn’t have any and ev­ery­thing was re­ally smooth. We man­aged to do a 59 sec­ond lap, which I was quite pleased with in those con­di­tions!”

How­ever, the test wasn’t Guin­toli’s first time rid­ing the new GSX-R. Two weeks ago, he flew out to Sepang to spend three days with the fac­tory Yoshimura team test­ing the Suzuka 8 Hour bike, which he’s likely to ride at the pres­ti­gious event in July.

“The first thing you no­tice is just how much Yoshimura have done with the bike,” he said. “They’ve al­ready got a pretty much fin­ished race bike, so it’s good our team are work­ing closely with them. They’ve got ev­ery­thing, some proper fac­tory stuff.”

Rid­ing in 35-de­gree sun­shine as op­posed to three de­grees at Mal­lory en­abled Guin­toli to get a real first im­pres­sion of the GSX-R’S po­ten­tial.

“It does feel quick,” he ex­plained. “The power is no­tice­able but the engine char­ac­ter is like noth­ing I have ever felt. It’s al­most like Mo­togp power in the way it is de­liv­ered, so smooth and full through the rev range from the bot­tom end to the top and it revs quite high too.

“Ev­ery­thing I’ve read about the bike was pos­i­tive and on pa­per, it is a weapon. But it was nice to get on it and see for my­self as you never know how you’ll per­son­ally find a bike un­til you ride it.”

Guin­toli will brave the cold again this month with a sec­ond test along­side team-mate, and 2016 Bri­tish Su­per­stock cham­pion, Tay­lor Macken­zie at Mal­lory Park be­fore the team head to Spain for test­ing at Carta­gena and Alme­ria ahead of the 2017 BSB sea­son kick­ing off at Don­ing­ton Park at the end of March.

‘Rid­ing with­out trac­tion con­trol at a wet Mal­lory Park was in­ter­est­ing!’ SYL­VAIN GUIN­TOLI

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