Manxman Conor Cummins got his first taste of Suzuki's new GSX-R1000 Superbike, fully liveried in Tyco Suzuki colours at a two-day test in Northern Ireland this week.
Cummins also got the chance to ride a Superstock specification GSX-R1000 and the British Championship-winning GSX-R600. All bikes were fitted with road racing-specification Pirelli tyres in preparation for the upcoming International North West 200 and Isle of Man TT Races.
The 26-year-old Ramsey resident completed 200 laps during the two-day test at Kirkistown in glorious sunny conditions, despite the rest of the UK having to deal with incessant rain.
Tyco Suzuki's British Superbike rider Alastair Seeley was also present at the test. Like his lofty team-mate, the 'Wee Wizard' also completed laps well into three figures, concentrating on the Superstock and Supersport machines that he will ride at the International North West 200 on May 19.
"That was a really productive two-day test on the Tyco Suzukis at Kirkistown. The team built the Superbike up and it gave me a chance to clock up the miles in readiness for the start of the international roads at the NW200 in May; 200 laps certainly taught me a lot about the big Superbike. The new GSX-R is an awesome bike to ride and I was smiling from ear-to-ear from start to finish. I really do believe it will be a great bike for the roads.
"The weather was great for both days despite what the forecast predicted, which meant we could try different tyres. The Pirellis are pretty impressive anyway, but the ones we ran at the test were even more impressive, which fills me with confidence going forward. We also used the test to try and get a good base setting dialled-in for the Superstock bike, which we did and can now go to Oulton Park knowing where we need to be. All in all I am really pleased with how the test went."
"I was really happy to get back onto my GSX-R600 Supersport bike. It was so nice to ride again and I really felt like I was on rails at Kirkistown this week on the wee bike. It was only a matter of a couple of clicks here and there, fire some Pirelli rubber onto it, fill it up with fuel; and our lap times were instantly competitive.
"I also tested the GSX-R1000 'stocker and we tried three different Pirelli tyre combinations. Again the bike felt really good and in certain areas it actually felt better for me than the Superbike. So that has helped on a number of fronts and we can take away some very valuable information. We were very lucky to get warm and sunny conditions at Kirkistown and I enjoyed working with Conor. He's a top lad."
Philip Neill - Team Manager:
"No one could have predicted the conditions: sunny, 15 degrees and virtually no wind at all. Conor tested all three bikes, which was important for us. It was purely a shakedown in preparation for the international roads and to run through the Pirelli options on offer. It was good for the guys to work with him and get an understanding of how he likes to set a bike up and where he needs to be on the Superbike. It was all very positive. Alastair also got a decent amount of laps in, on both the Superstock and Supersport bikes and looked comfortable and relaxed - back to normal."