This is the final week of MotoGP’s winter testing ban. Next week, teams will participate in the first official 2015 pre-season test at Sepang in Malaysia February 4-7.One group that has put in extra preparation ahead of the Sepang I test is the new Suzuki MotoGP team. This is Suzuki’s re-entry into MotoGP following a three-year hiatus; that year – 2011 – the sole rider Alvaro Bautista piloted the GSV-R to 13th overall.
But Suzuki returns in 2015 with an inline-four GSX-RR, and a two-rider lineup. Piloting these new machines are the young Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales.The four-day Sepang I test will be the first time the two Spaniards will pilot the GSX-RR machines since testing in November at Suzuki’s development center in Ryuyo, Japan. Most testing during development of the GSX-RR was completed by Randy de Puniet – who rides with Crescent Suzuki in 2015 World SBK.Speaking ahead of Sepang I MotoGP test, Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager Davide Brivio – once Valentino Rossi’s TM – says “We are going to start the first test of the season, it is just another test for us, but the feeling this time is completely different as this is the real preparation for the coming season that starts very soon.“Going to Sepang we are in the same situation as everybody else as we start to prepare for our first season and of course we are all very excited. We have just finished assembling the new bikes in Japan and we know that our riders can’t wait to get back on the bikes as we start this new project and understand where we are at regarding development.”The riders also previewed the Sepang I MotoGP tests:Espargaro says: “I’m really excited to get back to the track again on my Suzuki. The first tests in Valencia and Jerez last November were good and satisfying so we have basically kept working in the same direction and targeting the first race of the season. We will have lots of hours testing in Malaysia which means that there’s plenty of time to try the new bike and I’m sure that we can be competitive against the other teams and riders.”Vinales says: “I’m 100% ready to get back in action again and I can’t wait to get on the bike in Sepang. I’ve spent most of my time over the winter riding motocross, cycling and ice racing and I have done whatever I could do to be fit and ready for the first test.“I’m confident in my physical condition and I believe that the Suzuki engineers and our team has kept working hard during the winter months; I’m very excited to see the progress made on the bike. I already have a very positive feeling from the tests in November and my expectations for my first MotoGP season with Suzuki are extremely high.”
Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory + Steve ’Stavros’ Parrish
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly podcast—Motos and Friends. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Our first segment features the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. Senior Editor Nic de Sena brings us his report on the flagship version of Aprilia’s upright middleweight machine. He gives us insight into whether it’s worth spending the extra money on the Factory version, and also of course, whether this sporting Aprilia is really the motorcycle for you.
The next guest segment of Motos and Friends is brought to you by the faster and most technologically advanced, 2023 Suzuki Hayabusa—one of the most iconic sportbikes ever. Check it out in person at your local Suzuki dealer now, or visit suzukicycles.com to learn more.
In this segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with (arguably) one of the most interesting Suzuki race riders of all time. the iconic RG500 alongside teammate double World Champion Barry Sheene. The two were almost as famous for their exploits off-track, as for their success on it. Those were the days! Steve also raced the Isle of Man TT for about ten years where he won 13 Silver Replicas, and got a podium finish. His insight into that particular brand of mayhem are fascinating.
But there’s waaay more to Steve Parrish than his motorcycle racing. He is also the most successful Semi-Truck racer ever, and, little known piece of useless trivia—he’s my birthday twin: 24th February. He is a natural entertainer and you can’t miss his recounting of the world’s most entertaining—and arguably terrifying—double-decker bus ride ever. If any of you were actually on that hell-ride then we’d love to hear from you!