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GP Week : Issue 155
Spy shots from Japan’s Sugo circuit have set speculation afire that the dyed-in-the-wool racing factory Suzuki may be back in MotoGP as soon as next year ... and that they may be the first Japanese company to do so with a production-linked CRT bike for sale. Published by America’s Cycle World web-site, the high-quality telephoto shots show a factory test rider on a well- finished MotoGP machine, in black but wearing the logos of technical partners including Motul and Bridgestone. Mitsubishi – suppliers until now of the factory team’s exclusive and often troublesome electronics – is notable by its absence, suggesting that the new project may have fallen in line with Yamaha and Ducati in using class-leading Magneti Marelli electronics. The magazine’s respected technical guru Kevin Cameron pursues this theme, observing that in one cornering picture the rider has the throttle wide open, “suggesting advanced electronics are in use” . Cameron’s analysis shows that Suzuki has abandoned the previous V4 configuration in favour of an in-line four, canted for wards. Twin exhausts lead him to conclude it uses a cross-plane crankshaft like Yamaha’s successful M1 design, improving the usability of the power. Conventionally timed in-line fours work best with a single exhaust. This is in line with information published previously in GPWEEK, that Suzuki were considering both V4 and in-line four. It appears the V4 project has been shelved. An in-line engine also forges a link to Suzuki’s GSX-R sports bikes, leading the web-site article to ask whether “such a machine also be the foundation for a production-based CRT bike ... in the spirit of Yamaha’s TZs of the 1970s? Footnote: Although shots of the bike in the pits were blurred and distant, and from the wrong side of the fence, the professional quality of the action pictures suggested the leak may even have been covertly sanctioned by Suzuki. This adds the possibility of disinformation: is the V4 still undergoing secret development? Factory may return a year earlier ... MOTOGP SUZUKI SPIED IN ACTION Suzuki quit MotoGP at the end of 2011, but could the company's familiar blue colors be back soon? 9 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: MOTOGP >>> NEWS