With a few days before the 2017 MotoGP championship, Davide Brivio, the Suzuki boss, has an important challenge to accomplish: to repeat and possibly to improve the results of the 2016 season that saw Suzuki winning for a total of 4 podium finishes.
With the rising star of Maverick Vinales on the rival Yamaha, Brivio hired the experienced Andrea Iannone and the rookie Alex Rins.
The winter test were more complicated than expected, but the Italian is confident.
“The balance of the pre-season is positive”, he reassures, “we started well and then we suffered towards the end, especially in the final Qatar test. The bike package as a whole has improved. The engine is more powerful and we have worked on the chassis”.
What kind of problems are you fighting now?
“Both Iannone and Rins had some setup problems with the front. For this reason we couldn’t make a long run or look for a time attack. On the last day we tested some different solutions and Alex was happy while Andrea will look for a confirmation this weekend in the practice session”.
What is the feeling of the riders?
“Iannone is happy with the bike and confident. While Rins surprised us with his quick adaptation to the new bike and category. Considered that he missed the test in November, he has done an excellent job. He listens carefully and tries to improve every time he goes on track”.
What are Iannone strong points? Is he the right man for Suzuki?
“I think he can be very competitive if we succeed to solve the problems we met with the front. His strength is his sensitivity on the bike and his determination. His feedback is always very precise. He is an incredible hard worker and he never gives up. He has the right attitude for a project like Suzuki”.
Will you use the new fairing in Qatar?
“This year we will use in some race the traditional fairing and in others the new one. I think it will become an element of the setting. We will seal both fairings on Thursday in Qatar and then during the season we will have the possibility to add an updated version excluding one of these first two fairings”.
Which are your expectations?
“Our target is to improve the results we got last year. I know it won’t be easy because the level has increased. There are at least 9-10 riders that can fight to win a race”
Did you expect to see Vinales so strong?
“We worked two years together I knew he was so strong but I didn’t expect such a supremacy in the winter test. He is a champion, the battle of Vinales vs Marquez will accompany us for a very long time”.
Who do you see as favorite rider for the title chase?
“Marquez and Vinales are the reference, but they are not alone. Ducati will be strong and you cannot rule out Rossi. We also hope to be among the protagonists”.