Suzuki Racing

BRITISH SUPERBIKE

TOUGH WEEKEND FOR BENNETTS SUZUKI AT OULTON BSB


Team Suzuki Press Office – May 1.

Sylvain Guintoli – 11th (Race 2)
Taylor Mackenzie – 15th (Race 2)


The Bennetts Suzuki team endured a difficult weekend at Oulton Park for the third round of the MCE British Superbike Championship, but came away with a clearer picture of where to focus its development of the new GSX-R1000.

As is the case with a brand-new machine, every area has been a focus for development so far, as the team learns more about bike, with lots of testing fitted in in a relatively short space of time. Corner entry had been a particular area of importance, and after trying multiple components and chassis settings, the weekend at Oulton Park revealed that the team needed to work on engine braking settings and also clutch set-up to improve in that area.

The summer break will now allow the team time to go over all of the data and work on finding solutions.

From the weekend's two races, Taylor Mackenzie finished 18th in race one before improving to 15th in race two. Sylvain Guintoli was forced to retire from the weekend's opening race with a technical issue but pushed through to an 11th placed finish in the second outing.

Roads campaigner Michael Dunlop also used the weekend as another chance to record some laps on the GSX-R1000 Superbike he will race at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races. The 13-time TT winner lapped the Oulton Park circuit faster than he ever has done. He finished 19th in race one before pulling out of race two.

Taylor Mackenzie:

"It's been a tough weekend but we've narrowed down on a key area for improvement. We've improved the chassis a lot, but the biggest problem is still the bike pushing on into corners and we're struggling with our engine braking and getting the bike to work with the BSB-spec electronics. The bike wants to keep running in and miss the apex. But it's good that we know where to focus now. It's a problem both Sylvain and I are having, so we can work on it together and hopefully come up with a solution. In the first race I made a slight mistake and lost the tow to the group in front, but it was good to get into the points in race two. Hopefully we'll come back after the break having tried more things with the bike and improve our results at Knockhill."

Sylvain Guintoli:

"It's still early days and it's important to remember that. We've worked a lot on all fronts and we're still understanding the parameters of the bike. We can change something which improves the bike in one area but it can then have a negative impact in another, so we've been learning and developing. Now we have an area to really focus on before Knockhill. Our pace wasn't too bad on Sunday but our qualifying position was lower than where we could have been, I think. Unfortunately, we then had a technical issue in race one which was there from the start of the race, so I wasn't able to push. In race two we had a better result, and were actually in the battle for eighth. It's still not where we want to be, but it shows that we are moving forward."

Michael Dunlop:

"For me it's all been about doing more laps, just getting more and more laps under my belt before the North West. The bikes are working good. We're still making changes, improving the chassis, but we're doing okay and should be right next week."

Steve Hicken - Team Manager:

"It's been another challenge, but we're making steps in the right way. It was always going to be this way with lots of new parts arriving and lots of work to get through in a short space of time. Up until this point we've been altering head angles, offsets, tried different swingarms, engine specs, and worked on getting the chassis balance right to work with the Pirellis - it's a lot of work and we've needed to try all those things to see what works and what doesn't. Corner entry has been our biggest weakness. We need the bikes to work better with the electronics, but we're also going to be testing different clutches to give us the amount of slip we need. It's going to take lots of work and lots of back-to-back testing, so we're happy to be heading into the break from BSB duties to give us chance to look over everything and all the data we've accumulated, and come back at Knockhill and push on. As we keep saying, we've got all the potential in the world, but we need to turn it into results."

In the National Superstock 1000 championship race, Richard Cooper was unlucky to be taken out by another rider in the opening stages. After getting a good start from pole position in tricky weather conditions, Cooper led the way into turn one but had slotted into second place by the end of the lap, opting instead to get a feel for the conditions and his opponents.
Unfortunately, he was collected while tipping into the hairpin on lap three, and fell. Despite the race being red-flagged for rain, Cooper was unable to make the restart. However, with other results going in his favour, the Bennetts Suzuki rider still sits at the top of the championship standings.

Richard Cooper:

"It's a shame when you've come all this way, been here since Saturday, and only got one race, that it then goes like it did. I didn't really want to lead, to be honest, but I got such a good start I kind of had to, but when Danny [Buchan] came past I was happy just to sit there really. I thought I'd sit behind for eight or nine laps and see how things progressed. But it was only lap three and I felt someone hit the back of me and take me wide and onto the grass and that was it, down I went. It's unfortunate because we made some more changes to the bike and it was working mint this weekend. But it could have been worse; we're alright and things went in our favour in the rest of the race and we're still leading the championship."

British Superbikes race one result: 1. Leon Haslam, 2. Shane Byrne, 3. Luke Mossey, 18. Taylor Mackenzie (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), 19. Michael Dunlop (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), DNF. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).

British Superbikes race two result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. Glenn Irwin, 3. Jason O'Halloran, 11. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), 15. Taylor Mackenzie (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), DNF. Michael Dunlop (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).

National Superstock 1000 race result:
1. Mason Law, 2. Chrissy Rouse, 3. Michael Rutter, DNF. Richard Cooper (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).

Oulton Park BSB Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Championship Points: CLICK HERE




For more stories about Sylvain Guintoli, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Taylor Mackenzie, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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