Can you tell us about the development direction Suzuki is taking for 2019?

Davide Brivio:
Everything is an evolution. There is nothing completely different or new. We’re using an engine that is a little bit more powerful than what we have, which is always the target. Together with the chassis, and there we’re trying to improve some weak points, like the braking and other areas, the engineers provided a new version. Overall Sylvain liked the package. This package will probably come to Valencia for the testing. Alex at the beginning will try to compare the Valencia race bike with the first evolution for 2019.

We will carry on this part through the winter – the chassis, engine and electronics – selecting hopefully new parts. Then the target is to make the right choice, the right selection, to decide whether the chassis is better or now, whether the engine is better or not.

Then we’ll put the puzzle together for the 2019 bike, and the bike we’ll use in Qatar for the first race. That’s the job during the winter. We’ll start with the current bike and then introduce all new parts, and decide which one is better.
Do you think Alex is ready to be the factory’s lead rider in 2019?

Davide Brivio:
Absolutely, yes.

I have to say that already in the past winter Alex made his own selection with his own parts. In the winter we tested chassis, engines, swingarms and various parts with both Alex and Andrea. Alex made his own selection and he built up his own package, which is what he’s using. We find Alex is quite sensitive and quite good in development and understanding what he likes, what he needs. I would say he’s ready to do this job, because he already did it this year. Maybe at the beginning having the help of Sylvain can be nice, can be interesting for him to get confirmation, a double-check from another rider.

But I also expect that Joan Mir won’t take too long, in the sense that at the beginning being a rookie he will be much more concentrated on his riding – finding the line then how to ride the motorcycle. Once he is initially stable then he will start to think about trying different parts and seeing the difference. Joan is a type of rider that can do this job, but at the beginning this is not his priority, to select the package.

At the beginning I expect him to trust in Alex’s job and maybe follow him. Then we have seen already with Maverick, with Alex that quite soon they start to find their own way to find what they like, what they need for this progression.
So from you’re saying Alex selected the parts that make up this year’s bike. Did Andrea follow his lead in some respects?

Davide Brivio:
Each one made his own choice, his own selection. Yeah, Andrea sometimes went back. For example in Aragon he decided to take exactly the setting of Alex and to use it. Sometimes Andrea went in Alex’s direction. But I would say both made their own choice. Alex will be in his third year of MotoGP and I think we’re ready to work on a bike with him.


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