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Suzuki developing seamless, sets MotoGP targets

“Our target for next year, we will try for the podium. After three years we want to be challenging for championships”
Suzuki project leader Satoru Terada has confirmed that the factory is developing a seamless gearbox, which it hopes will be ready for the GSX-RR's full-time debut in MotoGP 2015.

As the rain pelted down on the second day of testing at Valencia, Terada and Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio sat down with the press to discuss the GSX-RR's technical capabilities, with the special gearbox one of their priorities.

Terada said, “It is under development. Our target will bring it as soon as possible [to the track]. Our target is the start of the season, I hope.” Brivio added, “The gearbox also takes time to be approved for the track to make many tests.”

The pair were unwilling to confirm whether the factory are developing their own gearbox or asking another company to do so.

Suzuki is switching to Magneti Marelli electronics - control hardware and bespoke software - after using Mitsubishi powered systems in the past. Terada confirmed that he has been impressed with the potential of the new system.

“It was very hard [to adapt],” he said. “We have longer experience with the Mitsubishi system. [Magneti] Marelli system is quite new to us so we spend a lot of time to develop this Marelli ECU. It's a very powerful ECU so we already there are many possibilities with this.”

The GSV-R, Suzuki's 2002-2011 MotoGP machine, ran a V4 engine configuration. For 2015 they have reverted to an inline four cylinder layout. Terada confirmed that this move was made to bring their racing activities in line with their production line.

“[The] Suzuki company was thinking the racing activity is very important related to our production bike. We don't have V4 engine for production bike. The inline four engine is in the production bike and that's why we choose [this engine] when we come back.

“[It's a] Little bit difficult to get power. But I believe we can get this power for racing. We have a minor problem now; the horsepower is a little bit down compared to the dyno [speed]. The conditions are different from the dyno to the track. We have problems on track and we are investigating.”
Brivio also stated that the current engine was detuned slightly in a bid to remedy the reliability issues. “Because of durability problems we didn't the use the power. We are using the engine 'under-powered'. Maybe when the reliability is fixed we can use more.”

Suzuki was pleased with the first impressions of both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales concerning the chassis after the first day of testing on Monday. Both Spaniards complemented the GSX-RR's front-end feel and Terada confirmed this was a priority when the bike's design was under consideration.

“Yesterday they give some comments about the chassis – especially the front side is very comfortable,” he said. “This is also our target, turning the bike. This is very good for us. At the moment they feel comfortable on the front compared to the rear. We need more time to get information, at the moment we only have half a day.”

Along with stating that the machine doesn't utilise all of the 24 allocated litres of fuel available to the Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia machines, Terada and the factory have high expectations for the upcoming season.

“The project is very new. We know that this is a very big challenge for Suzuki. Our target for next year, we will try for the podium. After three years we want to be challenging for championships.”

Tagged as: Suzuki

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November 11, 2014 4:41 PM

I hope their oil supplier gives them good discounts as I see them using a lot of it next year, if Valencia was a good indicator. But good luck to them- it takes a brave company boss to go and fight the big boys.

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