With the winter nearly over, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is heading to Malaysia for the first test of 2019, with the debut of the final version of the livery that will characterise the two GSX-RR’s ridden by Alex Rins and Joan Mir.
The winter break has been very useful for preparing an advanced version of the technical package that will be available to the Factory Riders from the beginning of the season. With the main goal of finding increased power without losing traction, as well as improving the behaviour of the bike in corner entry and exit.
As already announced, the lineup will be composed of two young Spaniards, a choice designed to continue Suzuki’s philosophy of bringing on and growing young talent. With two seasons aboard the GSX-RR already, Alex Rins will be the “experienced” rider in the garage, having achieved 5 podiums during the 2018 season. He will have the clear target of getting to the top step of the podium as soon as possible.
Debutant Joan Mir has already proven that he is not daunted by the top class, showing solid performances in the November tests in Valencia and Jerez. He can rely on a solid team around him, who have plenty of experience in managing young riders. And with no pressure on his shoulders, this year will be a learning phase in his partnership with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.
“Finally winter is over and I can go back riding! This winter break has felt so long and I can’t wait to be back riding again. After the last test in November I left clear feedback for the engineers to work on, as far as I know the improvements we will try in Sepang will not be drastic but many small improvements in many areas, which is totally the Suzuki philosophy. We know what we were missing on the bike, so I believe the R&D in Japan will deliver a package which will help us to improve further. My winter has been very intense, with successful recovery and intense training programme. This is an important year, because in 2018 we were able to show that we can consistently fight for podium positions, and now it’s time to go for the bigger prize: the victory.”
“Needless to say, I am very excited to get back on my bike. This winter has been very long without riding but I focused on my physical training, which has given positive results so far. Of course I still need many more hours on the bike, there are so many things I still need to understand to be even more effective, but I feel very supported by the team and I will rely on their wealth of experience to improve, and also to contribute my own improvements to my bike. It will be a whole package, me and the bike, that will hopefully develop step by step. I don’t have any pressure, but for sure my clear objective will be to end the season with a smaller gap to the winner when compared to the first race.”
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