Suzuki's British Superbike duo, John Reynolds and Karl Harris, returned from a successful two-day test at Spain's Almeria circuit where they both recorded new fastest lap times on their GSX-R1000s.

It is only the second test for the team on the awesome 2002 GSX-R1000 superbikes, which can now compete in the new-look British Championship, and reigning champion Reynolds was delighted with the progress the team is making and is champing at the bit to start racing.

"Everything is going exceedingly well," he said, "It seems everything we do with the bike just makes it better and quicker. To be honest, we were fine-tuning the bike to my own personal tastes, getting the handlebar position and steering geometry correct for my riding style.

"We only tested on hard race tyres, so the lap times we recorded were very impressive, especially considering the dusty and windy conditions at the track. I have no doubt about my title defence. I'm not cocky about it but, every time we test, the outlook gets better and better. I am confident in the team and machinery and really looking forward to the season."

Reynolds' team-mate, reigning British Supersport champion Karl Harris, was equally happy with his GSX-R1000, despite a small spill when he was caught out by the dusty circuit on the first day.

"We struggled with the fuel injection settings at the start of the test but, once we got that sorted, I was able to put in a decent lap time," he reported, "And not just a single lap-time, but seven or eight very fast laps.

"We didn't have time to try soft tyres for really fast laps because the session was cut short on the final day when another rider crashed, but I am happy with the progress. Besides, I'm a better racer than I am a tester or qualifier, so I am very confident for the coming season, in my bike, myself and my team."

Scholarship team rider Nick Medd tested the GSX-R1000 for the first time and, despite never visiting the track before, recorded a fast time of 1min 40.9secs, comparing well with Harris' 1min 39.3secs and Reynolds' 1min 38.7secs.

"I am impressed by how quickly all three riders are adapting to their new machinery," team manager Paul Denning admitted, "The GSX-R1000 is an absolutely awesome bike to begin with, and we are finding its true track potential now. The test conditions were dusty and windy compared to our first test in December, but both riders went faster without putting on sticky rubber and going for a fast lap.

"Nick did exceptionally well on his first ride of the bike and first time at the track. It is all very positive and encouraging and the more we learn about the bikes, the quicker the riders will get."

The now Rizla-backed Suzuki team is due to test again at Oulton Park and Almeria in early March, before three other sessions at Albacete, Donington and Silverstone ahead of the season-opener at Silverstone on 1 April.



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