Rizla Suzuki MotoGP travels to Sepang in Malaysia for its second off-season test in preparation for next year's assault on the MotoGP World Championship.
Following the test at Valencia earlier this month - which gave promising results for the new engine - the whole team will be looking to see how the 800cc Suzuki GSV-R performs at such a different track to Valencia. The Sepang International Circuit will give the new engine a thorough test, as the 5.5km circuit features two long straights interlinked by a variety of turns including some very fast and testing sweeping bends and a mixture of slow corners.
John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen are both eager to continue getting to terms with the way the new bike performs. The data that both they and Team Test Rider Nobuatsu Aoki gathered at Valencia will be put to good use as Suzuki look to develop the new 800 to be a competitive machine in readiness for the start of the new season at Qatar in March next year.
Aoki will be joining Hopkins and Vermeulen for the three day test beginning on Wednesday 15th November. Comprehensive tests will be conducted not just on the new engine but also further evaluation on the prototype chassis that may house next year's motor. Detailed chassis and suspension options will be scrutinised alongside Bridgestone tyre testing, to match the performance characteristics of the new engine with the latest generations of profiles, compounds and constructions.
"I'm really looking forward to getting to Malaysia and testing the bike again. Since I have been at Suzuki there has never been such a buzz about the end of season tests. The bike seemed to go well at Valencia and it will be good to see what it will do over such a different circuit as Sepang. We still know there is a long way to go but if we can continue the way we have started, things will be good for 2007 - and I'm ready for it!"
"Valencia showed us the potential that was in the new bike, but we need to keep improving on what we have as the other manufacturers will certainly do so as well. Sepang will be a good place to test the 800, because of the different layout to what we tested on at Valencia. This will start to give us a good idea of how the bike will handle and perform on other tracks and confirm the priorities we need to concentrate on."