Team Alstare Suzuki Corona Extra rider Max Biaggi ended three days of testing the GSX-R1000 K6 at Vallelunga, Italy today in a positive frame of mind and is already looking forward to his next outing in Valencia early next month.
Although Vallelunga could be described as his home circuit, Biaggi has not been to the 4.085 kilometre track in over 15 years. And, as a new section has only been added recently, the Italian started the tests as if he had never seen the circuit before. During the three days, he only worked with race rubber as he wanted to get the feel of the GSX-R1000 K6 and the Pirellis before even trying to make fast laps.
Biaggi put in over 70 laps on each of the second and third days, run in extremely hot conditions. At the end, the team packed up and began the trek home whilst he took the opportunity to relax in Rome for a short break before returning to Monte Carlo.
It's a little funny that everybody seems to think that this is my home circuit because I haven't been here for a long time - maybe 15 or 16 years! There is a brand new section also, so I started off learning the track - like anybody else arriving at a new circuit. I can't fully say if Vallelunga is a good track for testing because we had so much to do here and really I'd only be able to tell with more experience of it and also if some other riders were testing at the same time.
The main part of these days is to begin the process of learning lots of new and different things. The bike is heavier than what I have been used to for a start and that means you have to do a lot work getting a good balance and making the suspension work the way you want. Then of course, I have to learn what riding on Pirellis is like and when you change one area of the bike how it affects another area. I have been away from road racing for over a year and that means that my approach at the moment is steady rather than dramatic.
I like things to be right and I am determined to work as hard as it takes to get the bike as good as it can be. We had a few minor problems during the tests but nothing major and I'm sure that we'll see further improvements in the next tests. I have also been getting used to working with a completely new bunch of guys and that is another thing that takes a bit of time. We are all working to a common goal and our aim is to be competitive for sure by the time the first race starts next year.