Front-end downforce generated by the MotoGP wing fairings will be especially important during this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.

The Motegi circuit is characterised by hard braking and acceleration meaning that, according to Joan Mir's Suzuki crew chief Frankie Carchedi, anti-wheelie downforce makes 'a big difference'.

“Motegi is all about stop and start!" Carchedi said. "It’s very demanding on the brakes and the tyres, especially as the track and air temperatures are often high.

"When you have hard braking into corners, you usually have hard acceleration out of them, so anti-wheelie from the aerodynamic package makes a big difference.

"A lot of the corners are only first or second gear, which can make tyre wear an issue; as you accelerate out you can encounter wheel spin.

"The base of our bike is very strong, but we will tweak a few things to ensure the best possible performance here. Here’s hoping it’ll be a good home GP!”

Suzuki took a home podium last season courtesy of Mir's team-mate Alex Rins, who returns aiming to defend third place in the world championship from Maverick Vinales (Yamaha) and Danilo Petrucci (Ducati).

“Motegi is quite a good circuit for us, and we like the track layout too," said Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio. "The competition this year is really high, and we’re trying to fight at every race to get back on the podium and to maintain Alex’s third spot in the championship."

Rookie Mir is 13th in the standings with a best finish of sixth so far this year.

“I hope in Japan I can take another step forward," he said. "I’m excited to start the weekend because it’s really nice to be at Suzuki’s home circuit. I have had a bit of bad luck in the past in Motegi, but I really like the track and I hope to put that behind me and have a strong finish.”