The first official test of 2020 has drawn to a close, with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR enjoying plenty of intense laps and gleaning a lot of information from the three-day stint on track.
Alex Rins continued working on the new chassis and various setups. He also tried the new tyres supplied by Michelin. Rins felt happy with the progress made over the three days.
Rins said, “Today was the last day of the test, and we’re happy how all three days went. We tested everything we had on the list, and now we go to the Qatar Test with a better bike than last year. I improved my rhythm and race pace here, and also my best lap time, so I’m happy with that. We’ll continue working and see how things are in Qatar when we arrive there, and we will try the new parts again to compare how they work on a different track layout.”
Sylvain Guintoli began the third day of testing but later handed over to fellow Test Rider, Takuya Tsuda. The pair confirmed many of the parts tested by Alex and Joan.
“It’s been a busy few days!” said Guintoli. “I was riding at the ‘shakedown test’ for three days before this, so I’ve now done six days of riding and completed around three hundred laps! So, we’ve got loads of work done, and it’s been fascinating. We tried different aerodynamic packages and chassis settings, and we’ve completed our planned program, so we’re pleased. The bike is feeling good, and Suzuki is doing a great job with all the work, and the atmosphere in the team is incredible.”
On the other side of the garage, Joan Mir spent this final day fine-tuning his settings and working on electronics and tyres. He used the remaining time to complete a race simulation and admitted that he feels better with his new GSX-RR every day.
A delighted Mir reflected on the test, “I feel terrific on the bike; it’s better every day. In the morning I tried the new soft tyre, but in the end, I improved my lap time without the soft tyre, so that was something positive. We’ve found good things in this test, and we have strong potential, I think in Qatar we will take another step forward, and then we’ll be closer to the front. It will be interesting to try the bike on a different circuit.”
Team Technical Manager, Ken Kawauchi said, “For this first test of the year, we brought many parts; chassis, swingarm, electronics cowlings and some engine updates. Before the start of this test, I was worried that we wouldn’t have time to go through everything, but we managed to do it, and we found a good direction. This test was about trying these new parts, and then at the next test, we’ll work to confirm the package more precisely and finalise everything. We’re pleased with how everything went here and the work we’ve done, and I’m confident about the Qatar Test.”
Team Manager Davide Brivio added, “It was an excellent test; we did a lot of work and completed our planned program. We confirmed the new engine, tested the chassis, the aerodynamics, and the electronics and so on. We found improvements and positive things which can improve our overall package. The riders worked hard here, and they are both in good shape with good pace, so everything went well. In Qatar, we’ll check a few things to confirm if they work equally well there and finalise the package, and then we’ll prepare for the first race. When we get to the first race, we’ll truly know how well the testing went.”
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is back on track in Qatar on 22 February.