Nothing "big to try" for Suzuki in Jerez MotoGP test

Suzuki’s MotoGP programme looks set to be scrapped at the end of the year, and already the effects appear to be taking hold. 

Joan Mir, 2022 Jerez IRTA MotoGP test. [credit: www.suzuki-racing.com].

News from the MotoGP paddock yesterday (3 May 2022) was that the factory Suzuki team will be quitting the championship at the end of the year. 

Yesterday was also the day of the post-race official Jerez MotoGP test, which for some manufacturers involved testing new materials. 
For example, Pol Espargaro said at the end of the Monday test, “We tried many things today and as always, there were some positives and negatives.” 

Pol Espargaro, 2022 Jerez IRTA MotoGP test. - Honda Racing Corporation.

"It was a good and important day and we were able to try some things,” Espargaro’s Repsol Honda teammate, Marc Marquez, said on Monday.
Marquez continued, “Like always, some things worked well and other things were not as we needed. We tried a few different aerodynamic parts to understand them at a shorter, tighter track like Jerez because the pre-season was at long and fast tracks like Sepang and Mandalika.” 

Honda, then, were bringing new parts to the Jerez test to try to improve the balance of their new RC213V, which was heavily redesigned over the winter to try to bring more rear grip to the bike. 

There were also updates for KTM, who brought to the Jerez test a new aerodynamic package, and a redesigned exhaust.

Suzuki, like Honda, also updated its GSX-RR over the winter, though not to the same extent as HRC, with a new engine which not only brought more power, but also provided it in a useable manner which was manageable for the riders and did not compromise Suzuki’s famed tyre consumption. 

Alex Rins, 2022 Jerez IRTA MotoGP test. [credit: www.suzuki-racing.com].

But, in Jerez, all there was to test was a swingarm that had already appeared in the winter. 

Alex Rins said, “we didn’t have anything big to try [so] we just worked on general set-up, although I did also try a swingarm that I’d already tested earlier in the year, and some electronics items.” 

Overall, Rins said there had been an improvement for him in the post-race test, but Joan Mir also commented about the lack of new parts to test on the factory Suzuki. 

It is worth pointing out that Suzuki were not the only factory with little to test in Jerez. Ducati’s Jack Miller said, “We didn't have a lot of new items to test,” but instead the Australian worked on different setup options, including different geometries. 

In comparison, his teammate and Spanish Grand Prix winner, Francesco Bagnaia, had only “one different setup” to try in Jerez, according to the Italian, who was also trying to protect his injured shoulder after the GP weekend.

Joan Mir, 2022 Jerez IRTA MotoGP test. [credit: www.suzuki-racing.com].

But, while Ducati and Suzuki had similar testing programmes in Jerez, with few new materials, the situation of the two brands in the championship is different, even ignoring the latest news regarding the Hamamatsu brand. 

For Ducati, they have recently begun to unlock the potential of their new Desmosedici GP22, and dominated the Grand Prix in Spain, while Suzuki have not yet won this season, and in fact are winless since Joan Mir’s triumph at Valencia in 2020, a week before his crowning as World Champion. 

At this point you have to wonder the extent to which Suzuki will develop in 2022. With their exit from the championship apparently certain, there is little benefit for the brand to continue developing a bike that will not be used from the end of this year, even if they are in a championship battle after the summer break.