Suzuki MotoGP bike benefitting from 2017 "countermeasures"

Suzuki MotoGP test rider Sylvain Guintoli says the current version of the GSX-RR bike owes a lot to the “countermeasures” developed by the team during its torrid 2017 campaign.

Suzuki MotoGP bike benefitting from 2017 "countermeasures"

The Hamamatsu firm's 2017 bike was not competitive for much of that season, and the team believed it was hampered by having homologated the wrong specification of engine – with its then-rider Andrea Iannone said to have played a big role in the mistake.

Suzuki then returned to the podium the year after, and has made further steps since, with current lead rider Alex Rins having placed in the top six in 13 of the past 14 races, and taking the marque's first MotoGP win since 2016 during that run.

Speaking in Barcelona, Guintoli pinpointed the 2017 season as the turning point that led to Suzuki's current strong form.

“It's been step by step,” he said of Suzuki's progress. “I mean, the first massive step was in 2017, when we identified what was not right. And after that, we worked during the season on different countermeasures - because we couldn't change this ['frozen' engine spec] - so we worked on countermeasures to try and be competitive towards the end of the year, which we started to be, in Phillip Island, Valencia, that was the end of '17.

“And then after that, in '18 the bike was straight away better, and all the work that's been done in the second part of the year to counter that problem, that then became very useful, and then it started to work with a bike that was better-born.

“So, all of this work, and sometimes the struggles, they make you stronger when then you struggle less. And all of that experience I would say is just paying off, at the end of last year already, and then this year.”

Guintoli said the 2017 slump “inspired everybody in the team” and helped “create a really strong team unit” at Suzuki.

“It's in the difficult moment, you just crumble or you stick together, and in these moments the team had a great attitude, and it's paying off now.

“Now most weekends it's all smiles and the guys are competitive so it's nice to see.”

While it's lacked top speed and hasn't always performed over a single lap, the current GSX-RR has impressed many of Suzuki's rivals with its cornering and its ability to extend tyre life.

“Sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed because lots of people come to me and say 'ah, it's great, you're doing great!',” Guintoli said.

"I think, it is good - it's nice to be a link in the chain. And for sure the work we're doing with Tom [O'Kane, crew chief], and the test team is now like a proper entity in the team, it just works like a race team.

“So we're able to really do some efficient work and it's nice to be part of it, but most credit goes to Suzuki and especially to our young guns [Rins and Joan Mir] that know how to turn the throttle.”

shares
comments
Ducati improved turning weakness in Barcelona test

Previous article

Ducati improved turning weakness in Barcelona test

Next article

Bautista says door "more closed" on 2020 MotoGP return

Bautista says door "more closed" on 2020 MotoGP return
Load comments
Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo’s suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward.

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Prime

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Prime

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021