SERT’s new rider trio on the track
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s new trio of riders has just wrapped up winter testing in Spain. Xavier Simeon has joined Gregg Black and Etienne Masson in the factory-backed French team’s new line-up for 2020.
All three of the riders in Suzuki Endurance Racing Team’s new line-up were on the track for the test sessions, first in Almeria and then in Valencia. Belgian rider Xavier Simeon is the team’s brand-new recruit. As of this season, Damien Saulnier is the new manager of SERT, currently on top of the 2019-2020 FIM EWC provisional standings. Together with Gregg Black and Etienne Masson, Xavier Simeon got himself comfortable on the Suzuki #2. All three were able to get plenty of track time in preparation for the next race on 18 and 19 April at Le Mans. As a result of the three riders’ work, new tyre specifications have been chosen in collaboration with Dunlop.
“Xavier is learning a lot of new things – about the bike, the team, and a different way of working,” explains Damien Saulnier. “He’s proving to be a good fit with the team. I like his simplicity and the way he interacts with the technical crew and with Gregg and Etienne. He’s calmly focusing on getting to grips with his new machine, and I’m reassured both by his feedback and the lap times he set. He’s matching the pace while remaining prudent and observant. The three riders are within a few tenths of each other, which augurs well for consistent performance over the rest of the season.”
Xavier Simeon echoes Saulnier’s good impressions. “It’s been a very positive first outing, both with the team and the bike. I know Gregg and Etienne very well, but I’ve never had an opportunity to work with them before. I’m reassured because the three of us are already totally in sync as regards our feeling with the bike and our approach. I’m very impressed with the team’s calm vibe, and I can’t wait for us to really get down to business at Le Mans at the tests for the 24 Heures Motos.”