News 16 Nov 2017

Suzuki begins 2018 test program with evolution-based updates

Iannone and Rins return to Valencia following illness.

Source: Supplied.

Team Suzuki Ecstar were on-track during day two of Valencia’s official MotoGP after a virus sidelined rider Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins on Tuesday’s opening day.

The pair used an evolution chassis and an evolution engine, plus a number of minor items. The 2018 GSX-RR will not be a groundbreaking new machine, but rather the result of many small improvements applied to the current base.

Iannone said he felt in much better condition to ride, however completed minimal laps to at least make a start on his 2018 developments with the factory Suzuki team.

“Yesterday I was not in any condition to lap as I felt very sick, which prevented us from working,” Iannone commented. “Today I felt better and we could do some runs. Despite not doing many laps, we have already figured out some things and this is a good starting point for the next test in Jerez.

“Suzuki has worked hard to deliver the new engine specs and new chassis. We are working step by step with the introduction of one thing after another, and for Sepang we will have a more complete package. In the last month of the championship we took many steps forward.”

Rins, who just completed his rookie season, stated he had a positive feeling with new parts he tested in Spain, confirming his excitement for the next test where he endeavours to be in 100 percent health.

“Today I felt a little better than yesterday and wanted to take to the track for at least some part of the scheduled work,” said Rins. “I still don’t feel 100 percent, so we only did the most important things. We had a new spec for the engine and a new chassis, and we tested them both, trying to get a feel for them.

“The objective is to evaluate the single improvements and then put them all together for Sepang. Since the feeling about the new item was positive today, I´m really looking forward to going to Jerez, feeling better, and start working at 100 percent.”

The duo, who were ninth and 14th in the times, will return to testing next week at Jerez in Spain with the remainder of the MotoGP paddock.