Halfway through the MotoGP season and Team Suzuki Ecstar have scored 33 points more than at this time last year.

Their tally of 134 points puts them ahead of the official Ducati team and behind only Repsol Honda and Movistar Yamaha in the teams' standings, while Maverick Vinales has given the GSX-RR its first podium with third place at Le Mans.

But while Vinales and team-mate Aleix Espargaro are frequently finishing in the top six, the team needs something more to be a regular rostrum contender. And that something, according to team manager Davide Brivio, is better traction on corner exit.

"Our bike looks like it has good handling, so it's good on change of direction and cornering speed. We also improved the engine performance on the straight, so that is also not so bad," Brivio told Crash.net.

"Our riders are still complaining about acceleration. We have to improve grip out of the corners, traction, this is the area where we need to improve."

As part of that process, Suzuki continues to focus on updates for the engine and chassis.

"We have a good chassis, maybe difficult to improve upon, but we made some attempts like we tested in Valencia," said Brivio, whose riders have chosen different chassis specifications to suit their riding styles.

"It is very difficult to find something that is better everywhere. Usually you find something better on the entry to the corners, but maybe lose on the exit. Or better inside the corner, but you lose in braking.

"With the engine we want to keep the good rideability - meaning the smooth engine character - that we have now, but also try to increase the power. This is what makes it a difficult job."

Vinales start his final nine races for Suzuki holding fifth in the world championship standings, with Espargaro eleventh. The pair will be replaced by Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins in 2017.

By Peter McLaren

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