We've just rocked up at circuit Almeria in the South of Spain and - I'm really sorry about this - the sun's shining and the ambient's in double digits. I know it's not nice to gloat but having just seen how awesome this circuit is, I find it hard not to.
We had a full debrief last night and the new GSX-R six may not look much different but they've been busy. Big piston front forks, Brembo monoblock calipers, engine twizzled through three degrees to allow a shorter wheelbase, wider bars, shorter tank and grammes trimmed and shaved from nearly every component.
Our cheerful Japanese engineer described the mass of small changes adding up to one big difference. He also said that this was a bike that wanted to make you go out and pray. It was a sentiment lost in translation with an unfortunate twist.
The goal for the engineers was to improve low and mid range performance and handling balance into, through and out of turns. To coin some Honda speak (sorry Suzuki) they've concentrated on not just weight saving (9kg lighter overall) but mass centralisation, too. Even the way they've repositioned the rider plays a part in this.
Anyway, I'm out in group two so if my bike (I'm sharing with MCN's test rider) survives its first twenty minute outing I'd better get leathered up for my first crack. Let's hope I won't be needing to visit the building in the first picture...