Suzuki Going 4-stroke for 2002 MotoGP Series
Suzuki will contest the 2002 MotoGP World Championship with two 4 stroke XREO machines running on Dunlop tyres. Telefonica Movistar Suzuki Team Manager Garry Taylor confirmed that current riders Kenny Roberts Jr. and Sete Gibernau will pilot the revolutionary new motorcycles from the first race at Suzuka on April 7th.
The XREO is a 990cc, 60-degree, V4 configuration engine design with a single crankshaft, gear-driven DOHC and electronic fuel injection. It has already undergone intense dyno testing and is now in the new chassis and could be ridden as soon as this afternoon. However, Roberts and Gibernau will not test until January, when they will travel to Japan to straddle the new machine for the first time.
Taylor's enthusiasm was mirrored by former 500cc World Champion Kenny Roberts Jr. 'This is the most exciting news I have heard in a long time. I am extremely pleased with Suzuki's decision to bring forward the 4 stroke project and I am happy to be a part of this progression. It is going to be a very interesting time for Grand Prix racing. I think that through this decision Suzuki have shown their commitment to win another World Championship. Grand Prix racing has not seen the last of Suzuki and Kenny Roberts Junior winning races and championships.'
'This is the best Christmas present I have ever had!' claimed Roberts' team-mate Sete Gibernau. 'I am delighted Suzuki have listened to our request to bring the 4 stroke project forward to 2002. If we can combine Suzuki's excellent handling with increased power then I know that we will be challenging for more victories next season. We already experimented with some chassis and airbox set-ups on the 2 stroke and now I can't wait to get my hands on the 4 stroke. Results last year were not as we had hoped for but now we can all look towards the future with renewed optimism.'
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