Team Suzuki Press Office – May 18.

Yoshimura SERT Motul: GSX-R1000R – 2nd (2:20.396)

Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Team Motul completed its two-day test at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium today with a strong performance, while at the same time acquiring valuable technical data at the newly-renovated circuit.

Many of the regular EWC teams took part in the event ahead of the second round of the series that will take place on the 4th to 5th of June. Having made good use of the testing sessions for race set-up, the Yoshimura SERT Motul GSX-R1000R riders went on to set the second-fastest combined time of 2:20.396, just 00.052 seconds off the lead.

The 2022 FIM EWC Championship returns to the legendary Belgian circuit after an absence of nearly 20 years. It hosted the famous 24 Hours of Liège from 1973 to 2003 and this year hosts the 24H Spa EWC Motos.

Reigning EWC World Champion Yoshimura SERT Motul, winner of the 24 Heures Motos of Le Mans event in April, will arrive at the event as 2022 championship leader with an 18-point advantage.

With 11 victories to its credit at the legendary Belgian circuit, Suzuki is once again the favourite, however, the redesigned Spa Francorchamps track, with its complete overhaul, has little in common with its predecessor. Many unknowns still await the teams, but some of them were quick to adapt to the new long and hilly circuit.

Yoshimura SERT Motul team riders Gregg Black, Xavier Simeon and Sylvain Guintoli were joined by British Superbike Championship rider Christian Iddon, from the Buildbase Suzuki Team as reserve rider. All were able to quickly make their mark on the fast circuit which proved to be one they all liked.

Well supported by the Yoshimura SERT Motul technical team, who focused on the settings of the Suzuki GSX-R1000R in order to find the best compromise between comfort and stability, the Suzuki riders kept progressing and improving throughout the test sessions.

Damien SAULNIER – Team Manager:

“It's a circuit that everyone has been talking about for a while. We were eager to come and discover it. I rode here myself 20 years ago and I didn't recognise much. Everything has changed. The track of course seems to please all the riders but also ticks the boxes; more spacious than before. So it's a very nice discovery and a great pleasure. It's a very fast track with long straights. It is also the longest track of the championship as it is 7 kilometers long! We are not used to this kind of track, so it is very interesting for all the riders. Most of them have no experience on this new track, but in our team, Xavier already knows it quite well and Gregg has done some private sessions not long ago. They will be an asset for us. During this preparatory test we worked mainly to make the bike comfortable and healthy in the big curves. We recorded the second best time, which is very satisfying and promising.”

Yohei KATO – Team Director:

“This is our first test at Spa Francorchamps and this track is as incredible as it is impressive. On the first day we tried a lot of technical solutions. Today, we worked on the choice of tyres for the race and we are happy with the work done. I'm now looking forward to the race!”

Gregg BLACK:

“I had the opportunity to come here 10 days ago with my personal bike to do about 20 laps, just to discover the track. But these first real tests, with a racing machine, were completely different. I had to learn the track and, with my teammates, work on the settings. That's what we managed to do these two days, creating a good basis. We know that it's going to be a difficult race for the engines because the track is very long, with many moments at full power. We will have to be solid and set a good pace. These are the areas where we have focused our efforts.”

Xavier SIMEON:

“We had two good days of testing. For the first day we focused on the main lines of work because there was a lot to do, especially in terms of gear ratio because this circuit is technical, with very fast sections and very slow corners. So we tried to find a compromise everywhere. On the second day, we defined the tyre strategy and the settings. The team did a great job because we made a big improvement in lap times, so I think we have a good basis to start the race in two weeks.”


“I came to Spa in 1998... in an Aprilia Cup 125! So I tell you that today, it's completely different. The track seems much narrower with the World Champion GSX-R1000R! So we had to learn everything again. It is a really beautiful and unique circuit. Riding here is a huge pleasure. We conclude our preparatory tests with very good results and I am really happy with the work done by everyone.”

Christian IDDON:

“This is my first time at Spa. It's an incredible circuit. In the British Championship we have some special circuits, so I didn't think I could be surprised! This track is so big, so fast and so beautiful, but very difficult to learn. Also, it’s been a long time since I raced with the traction control, and this is only the second time with Bridgestone tyres. I have a lot of new things to learn. But I had a very good feeling on the track and in the team. It's a privilege for me to be here with the team as a reserve rider.”

Spa Francorchamps Image Gallery: David Reygondeau (@Good-Shoot.com): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

For more stories about Christian Iddon, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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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