During his time as a Factory Yamaha MotoGP team manager, Davide Brivio experienced 'the wall', a physical divide to separate his rider Valentino Rossi and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo inside the pit garage.

The wall was originally created in order to protect confidential tyre information after Rossi switched to Bridgestone in 2008, while rookie Lorenzo remained on Michelins.

But the wall, plus a ban on data-sharing between the riders, extended long after the single-tyre rule was introduced in 2009 and was still in place when Rossi left for Ducati in 2011.

Brivio left Yamaha at the same time as Rossi, later returning as Suzuki's team manager, where he helped plan the Factory's 2015 MotoGP return. Brivio then remained in charge of the race team until Joan Mir's title victory last season, whereupon he accepted a new role in F1 for 2021.

Perhaps because of his experience with the Yamaha wall, Brivio set out guidelines to ensure there would be no technical secrets between the Suzuki riders, while the Factory itself guaranteed equal technical treatment.

"This is something that is in the DNA of the team because it was created like this from the very beginning of Suzuki's comeback, with Davide [Brivio] building the team and developing the guidelines of how to work," explained Jose Manuel Cazeaux, Alex Rins' crew chief.

"There was not a number 1 and a number 2 rider, because from one side Suzuki always guaranteed that if there are new parts, the new parts are for both riders.

"This is independent of their position in the championship standings and also, for example in 2015, there was a rookie like Maverick [Vinales] and an experienced rider in Aleix [Espargaro]. There were no differences from the very beginning.

"This was the way Suzuki from Japan is used to working."

From the race team side, the Suzuki set-up also ensures that no secrets can be kept inside the garage.

"In the team, we decided to be very transparent. So, data sharing is 100%. Reports are shared. And we also have expert people in the middle [working with both riders], this is the way that we can share information also.

"Because if I find something with the tyres, these people in the middle will know. So even if I wanted to hide it [from Mir's crew], I would not be able to. So this is a kind of working method that guarantees this [equal] evolution.

"Then the riders fight on the track and who wins, wins."

What then does Cazeaux make of recent comments by his rider saying that he feels like the number 1 in the team?

"I didn't hear this but I think both riders will feel they are the number 1 and want to be the number 1, to show the world," 'Manu' replied.

"The important thing is what the team transmit to them, the rules of the game inside our garage.

"Because this is the way we guarantee that they will have the same treatment, that they will have to make the difference on the track. They will not be able to make it in the garage."

Joan Mir's crew chief Frankie Carchedi agreed.

"In Suzuki, even last year or in Joan's first year, there was no number 1 and number 2," he said.

"It's equal machinery, we give them the best of everything. It's normal that sometimes a rider has more requests than the other, but we just go through it.

"All the development work that we are doing this winter, is not really so that just Joan performs or just Alex performs. We want to improve the bike so that both riders gain an advantage on everyone.

"The Suzuki way is that we want both riders fighting at the front and if one of them can be at the top of the tree then fantastic."

But surely you prefer your own rider to win?

"To best honest, from how we do the contracts, how we do everything, the emphasis is very much on Suzuki [winning]," Carchedi replied.

"Of course, it's like anything, I would love to see Joan win the championship, but if Joan can't win the championship and Alex wins the championship, I will be also extremely happy.

"It's one of the great things that Davide did in the team and also it's the Suzuki way that at the end of the day, in an ideal situation, they are both fighting each other."

Mir's title victory was Suzuki's first in the premier-class title since 2000, while Rins fought back from a shoulder injury to claim third in the world championship, also with one race win.

Both Carchedi and Cazeaux are part of Suzuki's new seven strong 'comitee' set-up by Suzuki MotoGP project leader Shinichi Sahara following Brivio's departure.

The team have stressed that, although the word 'comitee' might suggest shared decision making, Sahara is effectively taking over Brivio's team manager role until a replacement is found.

 

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