In Kevin Schwantz’s latest statements – who was world champion with Suzuki in 1993 - he predicts a very positive future for the 2019 MotoGP season for Suzuki. With the release of the new GSX-R1000, Suzuki re-emerged into the MotoGP’s ring, which has made improvements with the help of competitor experience and it paid off. With the Suzuki GSX-RR race engine, the Team Suzuki Ecstar pocketed 9 podium placements in the 2018 season.
The success of Suzuki goes back to the 70s, when the legendary British racer Barry Sheene got his first title in the 500ccm category in 1976. Success have been carried on by names like Marco Lucchinelli, Franco Uncini, Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr., whom have won 6 more world champion titles in the king category, but now let’s jump back to the beginning of the 2017 season to see the road leading to the 2018 success. The 2017 MotoGP technique was introduced before the year’s first official Malaysian test on the Sepang race track. The Japanese team led by Davide Brivo team leader, Satoru Terada project leader and Ken Kawauchi chief technician after two seasons of hard work and development have felt it was time for Team Suzuki ECSTAR to be in the leading teams of the world championship. Andrea Iannone, born in Vasto, Italy and Alex Rins, a young Spanish from Moto2 could race in the saddle of GSX-RR. Working with them gave the basis to many improvements for Suzuki’s engineers to increase the performance. The goal of the preparation was to make sure that the Team Suzuki Ecstar’s competitors will be able to fight for as many podium placements in the 2018 MotoGP races as they could.
The team introduced the 2018 GSX-RR race technique on the Malay test. The racers, Alex Rins, Andrea Iannone and Sylvain Guintoli have done their best to crown the years of development and preparation, numerically they led the 2018 GSX-RR 9 times to podium.
The first podium placement in the season was already won in the second race weekend in Argentina, where Alex Rins finished third.
Argentina – Alex Rins (3rd place)
Two weeks later, in Austin, in the American Grand Prix, the team’s other competitor, Andrea Iannone stepped on the 3rd stage of the podium.
America – Andrea Ianonne (3rd place)
The successful series continued in Spain too, and in Jerez de le Frontera, Andrea Iannone could step on the podium again. Team Suzuki Ecstar team members have now won 3 podium races at the end of the season's first four weekend races.
Spain – Andrea Iannone (3rd place)
The fourth podium was once again delivered to the team by Alex Rins, but in Assen he was already second in the podium.
Netherlands – Alex Rins (2nd place)
After the excellent series, the summer brought not only warmth, but also a small stop. The silence was broken by Andrea Iannone at the Grand Prix of Aragon with another 3rd place.
Aragon – Andrea Iannone (3rd place)
In the last third of the season, Team Suzuki Ecstar performed well and managed to finish in podium place in four out of five races after the Aragon weekend. In Japan, Alex Rins took the trophy for the 3rd place, and then in Australia, Andrea Iannone got the best position so far and finished 2nd.
Japan – Alex Rins (3rd place)
Australia – Andrea Iannone (2nd place)
In the second-to-last Malaysian race and the season-closing Valencian race, Alex Rins doubled, and the young Spaniard took 2nd place in both races.
Malaysia – Alex Rins (2nd place)
Valencia – Alex Rins (2nd place)
Rins overtaking his teammate with 5 times, while Andrea Iannone was able to stand 4 times on the podium. Check out Suzuki’s 2018’s race successes in video too:
The Italian racer left the team at the end of the 2018 season, The 2017 Moto3 world champion Joan Mir will replace him.
Joan Mir first introduced himself in 2015 in the Speedway World Championship for a race in the Moto3 category. From next year he competed in Moto3 for the full season, and in 2017 he won the series with a confident lead. He will arrive at MotoGP after spending a year in Moto2.
Suzuki’s racers, Alex Rins, Joan Mir and Sylvain Guintoli have already used this year’s last MotoGP test in Jerez to finalize the developments. The young Spaniard stated after the test:
“My feeling was really good. It’s my first real day as a MotoGP rider, and my first day in Suzuki colours and I’m super happy. I have a great crew around me, and I feel comfortable with them and also quite comfortable with the bike, so that’s important. It’s a big challenge to adapt from Moto2 to MotoGP. Compared with Moto2, you spend a lot more time braking, and you must brake very hard. And, of course, the acceleration is much more powerful. Electronics will be one of the things that will require more efforts to learn. It’s only the first day, but I’ve already found it useful to compare info with Alex. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Everyone is looking forward to the new model, and we will continue supporting Team Suzuki Ecstar in the next season! Stay tuned and follow the MotoGP Races in 2019 with us.