YOSHIMURA SUZUKI GSX-R1000
Yoshimura’s GSX-R is completely different to any other GSX-R1000 on a grid this year. It borrows parts from the Suzuki MotoGP programme, has the most advanced electronics in the world and is built almost entirely from parts unique to this machine. It’s as breathtaking to look at as it is quick on the track. While Yoshi have always had close links to Suzuki, their factory links have been increased, with a lot of transfer from the MotoGP programme. They’re effectively Suzuki’s race department: this bike is pioneering kit part development which will filter down to supported teams, like the Hawk Racing bikes in BSB and on the roads. But even they won’t get everything seen here...
WHAT’S IN A NAME? The 2017 bike, codenamed the XRJ0, has been developed by Yoshimura in conjunction with the Suzuki factory. The Suzuka bike shares the same basic chassis and engine spec as the MotoAmerica and BSB bikes but has plenty of upgraded parts to change its character. The biggest visual changes are a bigger fuel tank and a modified swingarm for easier pitstops, but upgraded electronics make the biggest difference.
ELECTRONICS The Magneti Marelli unit benefits from the input of the Suzuki factory’s electronics department, and with three electronics engineers on site at Suzuka this is the area with the most resources allocated to it over the race weekend. Freedom from the usual restrictions mean this system is more advanced than even a MotoGP machine’s. The team can tweak their maps to pinpoint power delivery at each corner.
ENGINE AND EXHAUST The same spec as in domestic championships; the team can only make limited changes to the power unit. They changed their engine spec just days prior to Suzuka, looking for more midrange torque. To prove reliability they simulated 340 laps of Suzuka on the dyno. The unit was installed on Wednesday and the bike qualified second fastest. The Yoshi-designed exhaust took 18 months to develop.
SWINGARM Lengthened and stiffened, taking lessons from the GSX-RR MotoGP bike. The swingarm pivot is heavily modified, too – the area is machined out and fitted with adjustable inserts.
AERODYNAMICS Tinkering has taken place to reduce drag and increase top speed. Despite a similar silhouette to the standard road bike, the Yoshi bike has a subtly widened top fairing around the screen, and a carbon cowl below the rider’s feet to further the aerodynamic gains.
CARBON FIBRE It’s everywhere, from the self-supporting seat, to tiny protectors on the clutch and rear brake. While endurance teams typically focus on speed of repair, Yoshimura made a clear decision to focus solely on speed on track.
WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION The 24-litre tank is eight litres larger than stock, so space has to be created to fit the increased volume in a way that doesn’t unduly affect weight distribution. The fuel cell is buried in the frame and subframe, keeping the weight low and central to minimise its effect on the bike’s inertia from upright to full lean.
BRAKES Tiny 290mm discs are used with Brembo M50 calipers. Typically, a 320mm disc is used in WSB (and as standard) but at Suzuka – a circuit without many heavy braking zones – the requirements are different, and the reduced inertia/unsprung mass was deemed to benefit steering to a greater degree than the reduced swept area would compromise braking. Brookes and Guintoli didn’t use the foot-operated, billet Nissin rear caliper, whereas Tsuda used it extensively.
‘WITH FULL FACTORY ELECTRONICS IT FEELS BETTER THAN EVEN THE SUZUKI MOTOGP BIKE – THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS’