MotoOnline.com.au gets the exclusive from Phil Tainton on Team Joe Rocket Suzuki’s ASBK test debut with the 2009 model GSX-R1000.
This year’s Woodstock Bourbon Australian Superbike Championship has been a closely fought battle to date between Team Joe Rocket Suzuki’s Superbike rookie Josh Waters and defending champion Glenn Allerton, but the TJRS squad has a trick up its sleeve for the remainder of 2009.
The team debuted its long awaited 2009 model GSX-R1000 in a shakedown test at Winton in Victoria last Friday, getting down to business on the all-new bike that is completely different from the K8 model that the team started out the season with.
MotoOnline.com.au got in touch with team manager Phil Tainton to get the exclusive details on the team’s first test with the bike and just what Waters and experienced teammate Shawn Giles had to say about their new ride.
Phil, Team Joe Rocket Suzuki made its debut with the 2009 model GSX-R1000 Superbike at Winton last week. How did the debut test go for you guys?
Extremely well, actually. We’ve still got a lot of work to do but I’d probably say it was one of the best first tests with a new bike that we’ve done. Both Josh and Shawn came back after the first five laps with a grin on their face and never took it off all day, so I was extremely happy.
Is it rewarding for you to see the guys come in with a smile on their faces after the first shakedown run?
Yes, very rewarding. It’s always a very worrying time, especially now because we knew that there was nothing wrong with the bike that we had and it was extremely competitive.
To have Josh only 10 points behind the championship lead at the moment and Shawn also far up the leader board it has been a worry for me trying to bring out a new bike mid-season without losing any points, in fact trying to gain points, so it was a worry and I was anxious to see the riders’ reactions – it was a relief when they were happy.
It’s a very different motorcycle to the K8 that the team had previously been using, but do you think this bike will be better from the outset despite less development time?
That was one of the worries that I had because we had put so much development time into the previous model, but in saying that this bike has a lot of potential after seeing what I saw last Friday.
The boys can get on the gas a lot earlier coming out of the turns and they were very impressed with the steering, so out of those two things the corner speed is up and they’re very nimble motorcycles. Yes, they’re very different, but they are exactly what we’ve been looking for.
Does it add pressure, considering Josh is in the fight for the title, to speed up the development and to make sure the bike’s right from the outset?
Absolutely. All the boys, Warren, Hayden, and myself, as well as Lynn, have all been putting in enormous hours in desperation to try to make sure that we give Josh and Shawn the very best of bike that we can so we don’t go backwards at all. We just want to go forwards.
Mat Mladin’s Yoshimura Suzuki team in the U.S. also switched to the K9 a few races into the season and admitted the bike was very different. I believe that you guys have had feedback from those guys on the differences?
I’ve been in touch with those guys quite a few times and have compared notes, and they’ve given us quite a bit of good information. It’s been a help to our initial set-up, but we just set them up with a basic setting before we headed to Winton and it was good right from the outset.
Does the TJRS team have any further tests coming up before the Eastern Creek round next month?
We’re going to Winton this Friday with a few suspension changes and we’ll make some more adjustments, but we haven’t done any more to the engines. We’ll probably do more when we come back from Eastern Creek because time is a limiting factory. We’re mostly focussing on getting the chassis just right and then we’ll power up the engine a bit more.
You have also added Marty Craggil to the stable on a satellite bike using the K8 model. Tell us how that move came about… The Dark Mirror dvd
Yeah, Marty was at the test and we gave him a run on the older bike. He actually loved it. He said it handled really nice and loved the suspension. He had been off the bike for quite a long time as you know, and it took him quite a while to get comfortable on the bike again, but by the end of the day he was looking really competitive.
As I said, he was very impressed with the motorcycle and that’s always a good sign. He doesn’t want to put any pressure on himself and we certainly aren’t, so he just wants to have a ride and if he’s still got it and still enjoys it then he wants to continue next year.
Well good luck with the season and we look forward to seeing the new bike make its race debut at the Creek. Sabrina movies
Thanks a lot, Alex.