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December 7, 2003, 08:21 PM

http://www.amasuperbike.com/2003-Dec/e/n031207b.htm

Quote:
New Suzuki GSX-R600 Shows Promise
rapp rides it
by evan williams
Sunday, December 07, 2003
Steve Rapp rode a 2004 GSX-R600 at the Daytona tire test for Michelin. "We had a bone stock motor but we still did a low 1:55," Rapp said afterward. The Valvoline Emgo Suzuki rider will contest the Supersport class on the bike next season. Steve rode the new bike -- now with a black frame and radial front brakes -- for three days at the Speedway.

Suzuki struggled in Supersport last year but have the Japanese firm's fortunes improved? "It's a huge improvement in every aspect. It just handles really well. The brakes, they feel like Superbike brakes, very powerful," he said.

"With the new engine, the bike revs quicker. It makes last year's bike feel like it revved in slow motion. It also has a higher rev line. Those are the most noticeable things when you ride it the first time -- it revs really quickly and it stops well. After your inital impression, you notice the handling is solid, too," said the winner of two Superstock races in 2003. "No dramas with the handling at all. It just does what it is supposed to do."

Still, it wasn't the first time he's ridden the new model. Rapp rode the bike earlier at Willow Springs for some Suzuki personnel last month. "It was a stock, with lights, signals, a kick stand, a total streetbike. But I rode it back to back with last year's model and it made the other one seem ... old."

Rapp will race on Michelin tires again this year. How did they go at Daytona?" They worked well and this is the hardest place to get a good feel from the tires," he said.
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