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Successful test for Rizla Suzuki

THE third and final day of the Pirelli British Superbike test at Almeria in Spain was a fruitful one for the Rizla Suzuki pairing of Tom Sykes and Atsushi Watanabe.

The two times Japanese Superbike Champion Watanabe worked steadily through every chassis variation and combination, allowing him and his technicians to learn more about the set-up of the GSX-R1000. He completed a whopping 92 laps and dropped his lap time by a further 0.7secs to 1min 37.9secs which he posted on his last lap of the day.

I very happy with my Rizla Suzuki now, commented Watanabe. We work hard on understanding bike and tyres. I have feel from my bike so it is good test.

BSB Rookie of the Year Sykes completed 82 laps and also worked on optimising his chassis set-up rather than going all out for a fast lap. He set his fastest lap of the test on day two with a time of 1min 37.3secs.

Sykes said: I had a good day, we definitely made progress. I know I could have gone faster but we decided to gather data which will stand us in good stead in the future. All in all it his been good - we have got a lot of information for the electronics and can learn from that. The Pirellis feel fine, all the way through this test Ive had good rear grip.

The team now moves to the Spanish Guadix circuit where it will continue the rigorous pre-season testing over the weekend. We have moved forward with this test, said Team Manager Jack Valentine. Everyone has worked exceptionally hard and we are able to take a lot of relevant data away with us. We ran a number of laps at race pace and we are happy with the Pirelli tyre durability. We are now on our way to Guadix which is a short, tight and twisty track. Im sure this will be challenging to Atsushi as it is very like an English track. We still have a busy few days ahead.

For further information on the teams test progress visit

Final Test Times

1: Leon Haslam (Honda) 1:36.4

2: Shane Byrne (Ducati) 1:36.7

3: Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 1:36.8


5: Michael Rutter (Ducati) 1:37.7


7: Leon Camier (Ducati) 1:38.2