The new-look Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team has begun the countdown to its 2014 World Superbike Championship season by completing a mostly trouble-free first day of testing at Almeria.
The team has travelled to the south of Spain to put the 2014-specification Suzuki GSX-R1000 through its paces, with new riders Eugene Laverty and Alex Lowes spending the first of two days getting reacquainted with the machine following the six week winter test ban.
In addition, Laverty and Lowes would take the chance to evaluate the 2014 Öhlins suspension before switching their attention to new electronic strategies.
Despite the cool weather, as well as glitches for 2013 WSBK runner-up Laverty, team manager Paul Denning was satisfied with both the riders and the bike.
"A solid, if rather cold, first day for the 2014 Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team! Both riders were very happy with a number of new developments in suspension, riding position, gear-shift speed and braking performance.
"Alex was using the known 2013 electronic control strategies and got up to speed very quickly, with lap times significantly better than we achieved here as a team in the first test last year. He looks really comfortable on the Suzuki and has adapted very well.
"Eugene is very enthused by the bike but less enthused today by some glitches – we suffered some frustrations working with the all new electronics, but this is the price of development, and the data gathered today will allow us to take big steps forward tomorrow. When we find the ideal balance between helping the riders control the power delivery and releasing enough performance, things will quickly progress."
Echoing Denning's sentiments, Laverty took to Twitter
to say he is looking forward to putting the Suzuki through its paces.
“Day one of 2014 testing complete. I had to do a lot of work today with our updated electronics. Itching to do some flying laps!”
Voltcom Suzuki will spend one more day at Almeria before moving onto Portimao this weekend for another two-day test.