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Rizla Suzukiís bright sparks

Practically every moving part of the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 has an electronic sensor linked to its performance. There are brake pressure sensors, linear potentiometers which monitor suspension travel, sensors that register the front and rear wheel speed as well as gear position sensors. You name it there is an electronic sensor to cover it!

There is one man responsible for the electronics on the Rizla Suzuki and that is Mika Suominen, who when he is not trackside with the team resides in Finland. As the teams calibration technician it is his job on a race weekend to make sure that everything runs smoothly - he is responsible for engine management calibration as well as looking after all the sensors and data logging equipment.

The bulk of Mikas work takes place when Rizla Suzuki goes testing as Chief Engineer Lez Pearson explained: Mika is working really hard at the moment behind the scenes making sure that our engine management strategies are up to speed. His biggest job is ensuring that they are failsafe.

With MotoGP being the highest level of motorcycle sport the bikes have the most advanced electronics but BSB machines are not that far behind. Electronics wise we are quite similar to MotoGP, said Pearson. They have a few extras mainly due to bigger budgets to work with and therefore a more expensive strategy.

The big debate raging within motorcycle sport over the past season has been Are electronics taking away from the racing? Pearson had two views on this. He said: Traction control does make the racing less spectacular for the fans as they dont see the bike spinning up so much. Yes, a smoking rear tyre is spectacular but when you have a 200 bhp bike you need traction control to help keep the racing as safe as possible. How traction control is applied is important and plus having a good engineer to operate the system.

Pearson went on to explain that every out come from a situation must be considered when applying electronic solutions. It is a steep learning curve and you need to build in a failsafe mode for every eventuality, he said. For example if one of the electronic strategies is not running correctly it needs a failsafe state so it will switch off and still allow the bike to function in its normal mode.

For further information on the Rizla Suzuki team visit www.rizla-suzuki.co.uk.