Suzuki riders Chris Vermeulen and Loris Capirossi have given the new Suzuki GSV-R their seal of approval following the second pre-season test of the year at Qatar, but admitted they are lacking in top end speed.
Vermeulen was the quicker rider of the two, the Australian rider completing the test in fourth position, although sixth place Capirossi was close behind, just 0.029secs further back.
Although a tumble on the Monday left Vermeulen with a slightly injured hand, he was impressed with the 2009 GSV-R's gain in performance over last year's machine, but urged Suzuki to squeeze more speed out of the bike ahead of the opening round.
“We were able to do a long run, try some different settings and definitely made a step at this track,” Vermeulen told the MotoGP website. “Engine speed is still one thing to work on though; we're still a little slow on the straights, which makes it difficult to race.”
Having also shone at Sepang, Capirossi was pleased to hint that Suzuki could get amongst the 'big three' of Ducati, Yamaha and Honda in 2009, but reiterated Vermeulen's claims about top speed.
“I'm really satisfied because the bike is overall much better compared to last year's,” he said. “It has been really important to confirm that the bike is competitive here. The engine is what we need to work on; we're struggling on the top speed and this is the most problematic thing for us.”