Rizla Suzuki racer Scott Smart finished pre-season testing at Brands Hatch today and is in a relaxed mood for the start of the racing season in just two week's time.
The 28-year-old York based Londoner set the sixth fastest time during the cloudy test sessions and made significant progress in developing the GSX-R1000K5 to match his all-action riding style.
Former Suzuki World Superbike star Gregorio Lavilla joined Rizla Suzuki to test alongside Scott and his feedback has helped accelerate the development of the all-new GSX-R1000K5. Finishing third on the time sheets, he has also been measured to fit the motorcycle in case Rizla Suzuki's British Champion John Reynolds, who is recovering from a broken right leg sustained in testing last month, is unable to race at the opening round.
The Official British Superbike Championship Series Launch takes place at the Audi Forum in London tomorrow, Wednesday, March 16th, and the team will be in attendance. The first round of the 2005 Championship is at Brands Hatch Indy circuit in Kent on Bank Holiday Monday, March 28th.
"We have used this test very productively. For us today wasn't about outright lap times, it was about getting the best possible setting for Brands Hatch Indy circuit for when we come to race here at the opening round in a fortnight.
"On race tyres and riding within myself, we are right on the pace. We will just get faster and faster as we complete more laps and there is still a lot of pure performance to come from the GSX-R1000K5 - we have only scratched the surface!
"I didn't go flat out today, there are no points for finishing first in testing. When we come back here to race though, I'll not be holding back and I think we have a package with my GSX-R1000 and Rizla Suzuki team that is going to be difficult to beat. I can't wait for the racing."
"The Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000K5 is a very fast motorcycle and I have enjoyed riding it. Thank you to Rizla Suzuki for inviting me to this test. We finished the day with a faster setting than when we started, which is good progress and helps the team."
Niall Mackenzie, Team Performance Co-ordinator:
"Rizla Suzuki has taken another step forward in the development of the GSX-R1000K5 and we are getting quicker with every lap completed.
"Scott is happy with his set-up and dialing himself in nicely on his Rizla Suzuki. We tried a few specific changes to his bike and have a direction to follow when we return here in two weeks time for the first round of the Championship.
"Our thanks to Gregorio for joining us, his feedback has been invaluable. It has been a big benefit having a second rider on our bike getting through some hard testing work.
"JR came to support the team this morning and is keener than ever to be racing at the opening round after watching Gregorio and Scott on track. He plans to be with his doctors for the rest of the week receiving specialist treatment and Alpinestars is providing him with a reinforced boot in a bid to help him to race at the opening round. All our fingers are crossed for JR, we want him defending his title from the off."
Brands Hatch test times:
- 1: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) 45.973
- 2: Sean Emmett (Yamaha) +0.201
- 3: GREGORIO LAVILLA (RIZLA SUZUKI) +0.432
- 4: Michael Rutter (Honda) + 0.474
- 5: Karl Harris (Honda) +0.760
- 6: SCOTT SMART (RIZLA SUZUKI) +0.880