Suzuki 'putting best pieces of puzzle together'

Suzuki leaving no stone unturned as it edges towards a final decision on the 2019 GSX-RR MotoGP engine design.
Suzuki 'putting best pieces of puzzle together'

Suzuki riders Alex Rins, Joan Mir and Sylvain Guintoli used the final MotoGP test of the season to narrow down new parts for inclusion on next year's GSX-RR.

The most urgent task is to confirm the engine design - the factory's nine podiums this year meaning they lose the concession of modifying their powerplants during the 2019 season.

The last time that happened, in 2017, the team were stuck with the wrong engine character during a podium-less season - a mistake Suzuki is eager to avoid this time around.

"Losing the concessions has made our work during these test days even more relevant because obviously once the engine choice is settled, that will be it," said test rider Guintoli.

Rins - stepping up to team leader - tried a new chassis, electronics and swingarm as well as new engine during the two days at Jerez.

The Spaniard, who was tenth fastest overall (+0.577s), described the new engine spec as "very positive" but "not yet finalised."

"These two days have been very positive because we tried everything - new chassis, new engine, and lots of comparisons," Rins said.

"[On day two] we started with the 2018 chassis and the new engine spec. and we tried all the suggestions that the engineers made, it was very positive.

"We haven’t finalised yet, but the engineers will be working on this…. We feel like we can have a very competitive bike.”

A big accident on the opening day at Jerez left rookie team-mate Mir walking like 'Robocop' for the final day of 2018 track action.

But that couldn't wipe the smile from the face of the new factory Suzuki rider, who also tried the new chassis and engine.

"I'm a bit destroyed, because after the crash yesterday I woke up like Robocop!" he joked. "I have a bit of pain all over my body and when I ride the bike I feel it. But it was not a problem to try all the things that we tried."

The former Moto3 champion, who moves to MotoGP after a single year in Moto2, added: "Today was more a technical day - to try new parts for the bike, old parts with the new parts… A bit of everything! Rather than to make a time attack."

But, as for Rins, there were no obvious answers.

"About the new chassis, new engine and everything, we are not sure at the moment exactly what is better, but we gave really good information for the Japanese engineers this winter."

Asked if he was in danger of becoming confused by the new parts, after being the fastest Suzuki rider on day one, Mir answered:"No, because we know what is good for me. We have a good base. I'm able to be really fast and also I had good pace.

"The problem is when you have to try something new that you don’t like, you have to try it more to [be sure]! But it's part of the job and overall the team is really happy and I'm happy with the team. I think we are looking to February."

Team manager Davide Brivio said cranking out laps on different parts had been a "tough job, pretty boring for the riders but absolutely crucial.

"We have to put together all the best pieces and compose the puzzle, especially for the engine we have to take a decision now that will affect the winter work and the whole new season.

"We have some pressure on for this, but that’s racing and the pressure is also our motivation.

"Alex, Joan and Sylvain all carried out this hard work, putting together lot of information that will now be useful for the engineers, and I’m happy that Alex could also put together a positive lap time.

"So we can go into this winter break feeling happy and hoping for a positive restart again in February in Sepang.”

Rins and Mir should get their first chance to try the final 2019 engine spec at Sepang in February.