After watching Kenny Roberts qualify third on the grid for Sunday's German Grand Prix, 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz has declared that the present GSV-R is 'a third' better than its 2003 predecessor - and that's there's plenty more to come.

"I was here a year ago and if I had to put a figure on how much better the bike is now, I'd say it's probably a third better," stated the American, who took his world title with Suzuki. "It probably still has 20 or 25% still to go. It's not rocket-fast in a straight line, though that's not so noticeable here. But the basics are a whole lot better, in the way the bike steers, and how it finishes the corner.

"As a rider, you can make it as bad as you want, but it takes a lot of confidence and finesse for these guys to make it as good as it can be," he continued. "Kenny's doing a real good job. John (12th fastest today) is still a bit banged up, and then he got stung by a bee! A lot of luck you create for yourself, but some good luck would really help both riders, John more than Kenny right now."

Roberts took pole last time out at Rio, but will be hoping to improve on his season's best race finish of seventh in tomorrow's main event.