Rizla Suzuki's Chris Walker is delighted with the performance of the new GSX-R1000K7 after completing a two-day test at Valencia in Spain.
Walker rode the 2006 Rizla Suzuki at the Mallory Park Race of the Year and for the first morning of the Valencia test to get up to speed before trying the new fledgling GSX-R1000K7. Despite it featuring numerous standard production parts, within 15-laps he had comfortably bettered his previous best lap time.
Rizla Suzuki young gun Cal Crutchlow tested the 2006 Rizla Suzuki during both days and finished just one second behind his team mate. He tested many parts and Dunlop tyres and is champing at the bit to ride the new GSX-R1000K7 at the team?s next test, scheduled for late January 2007.
In dry and warm conditions the Rizla Suzuki pair completed 293 laps over the two-day test. Rizla Suzuki will spend the winter months building and developing the all-new race bikes at its Verwood headquarters in Dorset before undertaking further foreign tests early in the New Year.
I started out on the 2006 bike so I could compare with the new GSX-R. On the K7 the engine is in development specification and there were road bike parts being used but even then it was a noticeable improvement over the old race bike.
The new bike was easier to ride, accurate and took less effort to hold its line and do what I wanted it to do. It's really encouraging as my lap times were good and there still remains a lot of untapped potential. It's a fast user-friendly bike and the team will now be working to make it even quicker. I'm smiling.
It's been a good test and I've learnt a lot about what you can adjust and change on a Superbike there is a lot more than I have ever had to think about before. PJ, my Chief Mechanic, has also learnt a lot so from that point of view it's been a great test.
Personally I am a little disappointed to have been beaten by my team mate but we all know the 2007 bike is at least a half second or more better than the 2006 GSX-R, so I'm okay with it. I can't wait to get my hands on the new bike so I can test it. January can?t come quick enough.
Simon Buckmaster- Team Manager:
It's been a good first test for Rizla Suzuki. It's already clear the new GSX-R1000K7 is a better race bike than the 2006 version and that gives us all encouragement although we will not be relaxing at all. Instead we will be working hard over the coming months to build and improve the package we currently have in time for our next test.
Chris was on lap record pace and while Cal was a little bit behind him he learnt about what can be changed on a Superbike and will be a lot stronger because of it. It's back to England to start the hard developmental work now before starting a comprehensive foreign test schedule early in 2007.