Suzuki heads into the MotoGP winter break with engine design 'finalised' for the 2020 season and confident of having 'made a step' with the GSX-RR.

Since engine design is frozen during the racing season (for non-concession teams), correctly evaluating the latest modifications are a top priority during the November tests - especially for the likes of Suzuki and Yamaha, which cite top speed as their biggest weakness.

After finishing in the top six at the Valencia test, Alex Rins and Joan Mir rose up the order to be inside the top four on both days at this week's Jerez outing.

“We’ve finished this final test of the year in a good mood, the feedback from the riders about the engine has been positive, and this has meant we can decide on the spec for next year," said team manager Davide Brivio.

The next test at Sepang in February is usually regarded as the last chance to try any engine modifications, but for Suzuki the emphasis will switch to other areas of the bike.

"Now that we’ve finalised the engine, in Sepang we’ll continue to work on other areas such as the chassis," Brivio said.

Suzuki MotoGP Technical Manager Ken Kawauchi added: "We can see how our bike is starting to form, and the parts we’ve tried have confirmed our initial hopes. We’ve made a step - not a big step - but a sure step.”

Rins, who took a pair of victories for Suzuki on his way to fourth in the world championship, signed off 2019 with the second fastest lap time on Tuesday's rain interupted final day at Jerez.

"We’re satisfied with the new engine. I only managed to do two runs in the dry, but I was very happy with my pace, I bettered my lap time from yesterday," Rins said.

"I did three or four laps in the early 38s, as well as a fast lap of 1:37.837, and it felt good. Now it’s time for the winter break, and to come back fresh in the new year.”

Mir was a close match for Rins at the tests, being top Suzuki on day one at Jerez before finishing fifth on the combined timesheets.

“We weren’t able to do a lot of laps today because of the conditions, but we still managed to work on the electronics areas, and this was positive because we noticed the difference," said Mir, twelfth overall during an injury-interrupted rookie MotoGP campaign.

"I set a strong lap, even after being out on track for a while. Overall, after four days of testing - two here and two in Valencia - the feeling is very positive and I’m already looking forward to coming back after the holidays.”

Test and wild-card rider Sylvain Guintoli, who has been helping to develop the latest, more-powerful Suzuki engine, said: "2019 has now drawn to a close and we’re so excited for next year because the 2020 spec already looks really promising.

"The test team are doing more and more and our close bond with the factory side is going well, we’re seeing the results of this work.”

 

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