February 20, 2005
Rizla Suzuki has finished testing at Valencia in Spain and is confident the all-new GSX-R1000K5 can live up to its pre-season media hype.
New team rider Scott Smart put the machine through its paces for more than 150 laps of the 4.005km Valencia circuit during the two-day test. Despite high winds, he finished the test and told the team that the bike was every bit as good as the hype that has surrounded it since its launch late last year.
Smart spent the day testing various engine and chassis components and further refining his riding position. He lost the front end of his Rizla Suzuki and crashed at the same corner that caught his team mate John Reynolds out but walked away unscathed. He finished the test happy with his base setting and is eager to ride again.
After crashing at turn six yesterday, British Superbike Champion JR is now in Valencia General Hospital with his right leg in a cast after breaking his tibia and fibula. He will be flown by private plane to England today (Sunday) and will then be transferred to Queens Medical Facility in his hometown of Nottingham. He will meet a team of specialists on Monday to determine the best treatment for as quick a recovery as possible.
Team Rizla Suzuki will now return to the UK to continue its test schedule and further development of the GSX-R1000K5. The British Superbike Championship starts on Bank Holiday Monday, March 28th, at the popular Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.
"That was a very busy day on track and I don't mind admitting that I am absolutely shattered. We had so many things to test that it was always going to be hard work, but the guys kept me working to a schedule and we finished with plenty of useable data.
"Once that information is analysed back at the workshop, we will have plenty of direction on what is working and what isn't and will start our next test from a very strong baseline. That is exactly what the team wanted to achieve from this Valencia test.
"I can tell everyone the GSX-R1000K5 is every bit as good as the hype that has surrounded it. We have only scratched the surface at this test but it already has the feel of an accomplished race bike and once we get it dialled-in and go for lap times, I think it is going to be awesome."
Robert Wicks - Team Manager:
"We leave this test with confirmation that the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000K5 is as good as we dared hope and absolutely delighted in how well Scott has taken to the team as well as his consistently-fast lap times despite the windy conditions.
"As Scott has completed more and more laps, we have watched him grow increasingly comfortable on his Rizla Suzuki. We are leaving the test in a strong position with him and once his technicians make the changes he has requested, it will be important to have him testing again to further develop the machine.
"We have made a plan with JR to get him back to England from Spain and in front of a team of top fracture specialists as early as possible. One thing is for sure; JR's determination to get back to fitness is second to none and he will have the best medical treatment to support him."
Source: Team Suzuki Press Office