Team Suzuki Press Office – March 30.

Reigning World Champion Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul have been on track at the Bugatti Circuit in France yesterday and today to test ahead the 24 Heures Motos on April 16th.

The team, which has won numerous races at the circuit, focused on technical innovations and learning about the new tyres supplied by Bridgestone.

Held behind closed doors, pre-Mans testing allows the various teams to work on the bike's configuration, adapt new parts and get a feel for their bikes before the season-opening race.

After an outstanding 2021 season, there were no changes in the team. The #1 Suzuki GSX-R1000R is back with its three experienced riders Gregg Black, Sylvain Guintoli and Xavier Simeon. And even if they knew the track perfectly, the tricky weather conditions of the Sarthe region are always a source of learning.

The time spent on track was not for pure performance but for working on the race pace and adapting the settings to the new tyres. And for this, a first sunny day and then a second wet day perfectly simulated the changing weather conditions that could be expected during the 24 Heures Motos.

The consistency of the riders and the good impressions following the improvements developed in Japan were confirmed. But a crash by Black at the end of the first day prevented him riding the next day. Thanks to a sunny spell, Guintoli and Simeon improved the team's time by setting the third fastest time of the second day of testing at 1'36'250.

Yoshimura SERT Motul, the winner of the 2021 24 Heures Motos, confirmed its ambitions to defend its title and to be at the front.

Yohei Kato – Team Director:

“We confirmed our pace on the first day by using the new features brought for the 2022 season. We are happy because everything works well on this track. Bridgestone provided us with new specification tyres, so we focused some of our work on that. Unfortunately Gregg suffered a heavy crash but should be fully recovered for the race. The rain on the second day allowed us to keep learning the tyres in more difficult conditions.”

Damien Saulnier – Team Manager:

“We had two completely different days with track conditions that are likely to be encountered during the race. During the first dry day, we were able to try a lot of things that Yoshimura had prepared during the winter tests with Kazuki Watanabe, which proved to be positive. The reunion with the whole team was very nice because we didn't see each other all winter long! The only drawback of the day was Gregg's fall at the end of the afternoon. Then the mixed weather conditions of the second day, with a greasy track in the morning, were used to prepare for the race. In particular, we worked on the usage limits of rain tyres and slicks and rotated the riders so that they could adapt to these delicate conditions. As the track dried at the end of the day, we were able to set some fast laps and improve on the previous day's lap times.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“It's a good test for us. It was my first time on the bike since the final in Most (Czech Republic) so it was good to test the new stuff. We worked mainly on the new tyres and the rear of the bike. We are also happy that we could ride in all conditions; hot on the first day and wet/ dry on the second day to be ready for the race.”

Gregg Black:

“The first day went well, in dry conditions with sunshine. We were able to set good lap times on relay tyres, so in race conditions. We are quite satisfied with the new settings and the evolutions on the bike. It bodes well for the race. I had the only opportunity of the day to start on new tyres to do a fast lap but I had a high side between the Dunlop bend and the Chapelle corner. It was a pretty fast crash and then it started to rain. Having a little pain in my ankle I didn't ride the second day to recover and be in shape for the race.”

Xavier Siméon:

“It was two very productive days for us! The weather conditions were peculiar; we were lucky to do the first day almost 100% dry but it was rather wet/ dry conditions for the second. We were able to validate a lot of things because in endurance racing, the race does not stop with the rain and we have to take the right decision at the right time. This test also confirms the good feeling we had in Almeria in February. The package is still very good and we are on the same wavelength with Sylvain and Gregg about the settings, so I think we are ready for the race. I can't wait for it to start!”

2022 Le Mans Test Image Gallery (@David Reygondeau – Good-Shoot): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

For more stories about Xavier Simeon, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Gregg Black, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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

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