Andrea Iannone believes Suzuki is correct in adopting an approach of thoroughly assessing a new engine and chassis at MotoGP tests at Valencia and Jerez, before definitively deciding on the components that will feature in the 2018 GSX-RR.

The Italian was fast throughout Thursday at Jerez when putting a new engine housed in a ’17 spec chassis through its paces, continuing the recent momentum built up by the Japanese factory.

Iannone was fourth fastest come the end of the afternoon, his best lap time of 1m 38.067s just 0.4s off overall pace setter Andrea Dovizioso, a feat that pleased the 28-year old when considering he had not fitted a soft rear tyre.

The new engine was a slight improvement, he said. “One percent better in all areas,” according to Iannone, who is keen to take Suzuki’s development in a gradual direction to avoid choosing one spec over another too early (as was the case at this test last year, when the factory admitted its engine choice for ’17 was ultimately incorrect).

“We don’t have the ’18 engine and the ’18 chassis. We have something maybe for 2018,” he said. “Some different things on the chassis but not [they will not] definitely [be used]. Definitely the bike in Sepang. We will not run fast like last year. We will run very slow.

“I agree that Suzuki didn’t come here with a completely new bike. Just improvements here, here, here, here and here. Many things is a big step in front. We don’t make a big step with one thing, a unique thing. Sometimes small results in all area is a big result.”

Asked to assess the engine he tried on Thursday, Iannone said, “In general all areas are a little bit better. But not big step on the power or the speed. But in general 1 percent better in all areas. But not in a specific point. We don't ask for more power. We have power. For us it is very important that we use this power and work for this.

“Also today I didn’t use soft tyres. Everybody used the soft tyre for the lap time. Today I didn't use. I use also in the end new tyres, but is medium on the rear and soft at the front. I think yes, we are very consistent.

“But at the end also today I did not use the best chassis that we have, because I use the chassis 2017. And we have one spec better, but today we don’t use. Maybe we come back tomorrow. So today we focused on some area - on chassis, other things, suspension.”

Iannone celebrated his afternoon of work by wheelying on the exit of pit lane, a sign the one-time MotoGP race winner was pleased with recent progress.

Commenting on this, Iannone said, “I'm very happy because especially in the end we improve my lap time with the medium tyre and yesterday I used soft. So the feeling the feeling with the bike is improving day-by-day and this is most important.

“Suzuki I think make a very good job during this year, for sure during the races we struggle a lot, but during the test we try a lot for 2018 and now I think we are starting to see the result.

“I'm very happy because I know, Michelin explained, everybody used the soft one on the rear. I think we are very close also and I’m very happy about this.

“But in any case it’s very important that we don’t lie down, that we continue this strong work and we have for sure some limits. It’s important we improve these for next year and that I push a lot and Suzuki work a lot on specific areas for improve those limits.”


Loading Comments...