Suzuki’s technical manager Ken Kawauchi says it remains too early to lockdown its 2020 engine specification choice but both Alex Rins and Joan Mir are “around 80% satisfied” with the new prototype following the two-day Valencia MotoGP test.

With a combined total of 118 laps between its two riders on the second day of the post-Valencia Grand Prix test, to go with the 108 laps from the opening day, Suzuki has focused on trying out its 2020 engine specification and dialling it into the MotoGP electronics package.

Both Rins and Mir having reported gains in greater and smoother power delivery compared to its 2019 engine – with top speed being an constant weakness for the Hamamatsu team – and remain eager to assess the new engine with comparison tests at Jerez next week.

“Our main priority in this test was to test the engine with the 2020 specification and we did so with both riders,” Suzuki technical boss Kawauchi said. “Yesterday we received positive feedback from the riders, with both of them fairly happy with it; today we worked to finalise some electronics and the riders are now around 80% satisfied with it.

“It’s still too early to say that we have a final decision on the engine but for sure it looks like we are on the right path.

“In Jerez next week we will focus again on the engine, finding new solutions with the electronics that will hopefully help us with the final decision. Then ready for Sepang, we will develop some more items to complete the 2020 package.”

The Suzuki squad hopes to confirm its engine specification by the winter break in order to develop the package before it has to freeze development due to MotoGP technical rules which sees engine specification remain constant from the opening round of the season.

Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio also outlined the need to lockdown the engine specification before the winter break in order to allow both Rins and Mir to sharpen their focus on setup and chassis parts at the Sepang pre-season test next February.

“We had the new specification engines to test, and both Alex and Joan immediately felt more comfortable with it,” Brivio said. “But we also needed time to work on it, especially with the electronics and setup we improved run after run during these two days. We went through some comparisons of other parts too.

“Now we head to Jerez where it will be important to carry on this positive job and hopefully confirm a few things.

“While at the moment we are focused on the engine and electronics, in Sepang we will be able to focus on more general setup, and we should have some new parts in the chassis area.”

“Today has been another positive day, as we improved our work on the engine and the results are good,” Rins added after producing a best lap time of 1m 30.503s to take sixth place on the combined times.

“I could better my lap times and also be very consistent, which means that the new specification engine is giving good support. I feel a lot of improvement in top end power, despite the fact that Valencia is not the right track for trying that as it’s so short.”

Suzuki and the rest of the MotoGP paddock heads to Jerez for a final two-day test (25-26 November) before the winter break begins.

 

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