Suzuki has announced a new partnership with Hawk Racing for 2017, that will see the Japanese manufacturer campaign its new GSX-R1000 in the MCE British Superbike championship with a two-rider lineup, while also racing the all-new machine in the highly competitive British Superstock series.
Running the new GSX-R – which boasts technology taken directly from Suzuki’s GSX-RR MotoGP racer – sees Hawk Racing become one of only four superbike teams worldwide to be officially supported by the firm in 2017, joining the illustrious company of the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT), as well as both the Yoshimura AMA team as well as and the Yoshimura team for the Suzuka 8-Hour.
The team has also retained the services of reigning Superstock champion, Taylor Mackenzie, who returns to Suzuki after racing a GSX-R600 in the British Supersport championship in 2013 and 2014.
Suzuki GB marketing manager, Rob Cooper, said of the partnership, “We’re really excited about going racing next year with the all-new GSX-R1000, especially with Hawk Racing, as the most experienced and longest standing team in the paddock. 2017 is a big season for us with the new bike. Having a two-rider superbike team capable of running at the very front next year is important, but it’s also equally important for us to demonstrate the bike’s ability and competitiveness in the Superstock series.
“We’re really pleased to be able to welcome Taylor Mackenzie back to the Suzuki family, and with the potential that new bike possesses – with its MotoGP technology and impressive specification – we’re confident that we’re with the best team to maximise the performance and turn it into results.”
Hawk Racing team principal, Stuart Hicken, commented, “For Hawk to be working with a manufacturer that has a history of racing is very important. What Suzuki has done in MotoGP in such a short space of time is impressive, and there is so much technology that has come from the GP bike to the new GSX-R1000. We have met with the project leader and I think they’ve done an unbelievable job with the new bike, and we’re confident of putting it at the front.”
Taylor Mackenzie added, “I’m really excited for 2017. I’ve had a really successful year with Hawk Racing in 2016, and I couldn’t have imagined riding for anyone else next year. I’m also really glad to be returning to Suzuki. They’ve made a massive step forward with in every area with the new bike, and I think it’ll be great from the word go. And with Hawk behind me again I have every faith that we’ll be in for a great year in 2017.”
The new GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R feature an all-new engine that uses a variable valve timing system and finger-follower valvetrain developed through competition in MotoGP, and produces 202PS at 13,200rpm. Both models also utilise a new frame and swingarm, with the GSX-R1000 suspended by Showa’s Big Piston front forks and Showa rear shock, while the GSX-R1000R gets Showa’s race-ready Balance Free technology at the front and rear. There’s also a comprehensive electronics package across both models, with an inertial measurement unit governing a 10-mode traction control system and anti-lift under heavy braking. The R model also features cornering-ABS, launch control, and a bi-directional quickshifter and auto-blipper.