Team Suzuki Press Office – July 1.
The Bennetts Suzuki team has endured an up-and-down start to the fifth round of the MCE British Superbike championship Snetterton, with Richard Cooper starting from the front row of the grid on his GSX-R1000 in the National Superstock 1000 race, while it was disappointment for Taylor Mackenzie and Sylvain Guintoli.
Cooper set the second fastest time of today’s qualifying session, narrowly missing out on pole by less than a tenth of a second. However, the former Superstock 1000 champion was well under the existing lap record, and is happy with both his one lap pace but also his race pace.
“Much better this weekend. We struggled a bit at Knockhill but we knew we had to be back on the pace here, and we are. I’m really happy with the bike, the speed is good, the chassis is working well. And I’m also confident that I can do the pace for the full distance. It looks like it’ll be between me and Danny [Buchan], but hopefully we’ve got enough to do the job.”
Mackenzie’s qualifying session was brought to an early end, the youngster failing to make it out of Q1 after he was forced to retire with an electrical issue. Mackenzie will start tomorrow’s opening race from 23rd on the grid.
Guintoli progressed from Q1 into the second qualifying session. He set the 14th fastest time and will start from the fifth row of the grid.
“I was full of confidence coming here after Knockhill, but unfortunately we’ve had a few issues that have cost us track time in the practice sessions, and then our qualifying was cut short with an electrical issue. From the few laps I’ve done I’ve felt good on the bike. We’re way down on the grid but I think if we can score points in both races we’ll have done okay; it’s damage limitation a little bit for us, but if we can get away hopefully I can get up the order and turn our weekend around.”
“The pace isn’t coming as quickly as we’d hoped this weekend. I had a small crash this morning which set us back as well. Everyone in the team is still working really hard and we’re all motivated to work on improvements. It’s not one particular area, we’re working on the whole package, and we’ll keep pushing for two good results in the races.”
Richard Cooper continued to prove the merits of the new GSX-R1000 in Superstock trim, and will start tomorrow’s National Superstock 1000 race from the front row of the grid after setting the second quickest time during qualifying.
Steve Hicken – Team Manager:
“Difficult day today. We’ve not done the laps we’d have liked, especially with Taylor. We had an issue in qualifying which was the worst time for it to happen and it’s cost him a good grid position. But it is what it is and we have to take it on the chin and move on. We’ll keep doing our best and try to get two good results from the races
“With Cooper we’re back where we should be. We didn’t quite have the pace to fight for the wins at Knockhill and we gave away a good few points in the championship, but we’re up there again this weekend, so hopefully we can come away with a good result and get back in the championship hunt.”
Superbike qualifying result: 1. Shane Byrne, 2. James Ellison, 3. Jason O’Halloran, 14. Sylvain Guintoli (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), 23. Taylor Mackenzie (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000).
Superstock 1000 qualifying result: 1. Danny Buchan, 2. Richard Cooper (Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000), 3. Michael Rutter.