Suzuki became the fourth MotoGP team to reveal its 2019 livery with less than a week to go for the first official running at Sepang.
The Japanese manufacturer’s bike and the livery was launched through an online broadcast just few days ahead of the start of the 2019 MotoGP season with the three-day test at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
The Suzuki GSX-RR continues with the blue livery with hints of florescent yellow and grey paint job as was unveiled by its riders Alex Rins and Joan Mir – who will be the only two riders riding the machine during the season with few appearances for Sylvain Guintoli.
“Finally winter is over and I can go back riding,” started Rins. “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 a 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.”
Mir added: “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.”
Suzuki’s Project Leader, Shinichi Sahara said: “We are approaching the true beginning of this new season with renewed enthusiasm and positivity. The tests at the end of last year gave us an important direction, and my expectation is to find ourselves at a competitive level.
“We have been working on many aspects of the GSX-RR and with the contribution of all our riders – Rins, Mir and the test rider Guintoli – we have been able to improve our technical package.
“For us, 2019 will be an important season: from one side we will have Alex Rins, who is still young in terms of age but is already experienced with our team and our machine, he has the tools to take the victory we long for. On the other hand we’ll start a new training programme with a young talent in the form of Joan Mir, with no pressure on him and all our efforts going towards his development.
“Last year we have also reinforced our test team and Guintoli is a true part of the squad who can give us important feedback, without forgetting the hard work done behind the scenes by Japanese test riders in Hamamatsu. I’d say we have a good and solid set up as a team, and we hope for a positive 2019 season.”
Team Manager, Davide Brivio added: “We are about to start an interesting season. Last year we surprised everybody with our progress and a quick come back to the podium positions. Having Alex Rins continue with us is very important when trying to improve our team performances.
“He has the mental freshness of the young guys, but also the consistency and wise head from his experiences of the two last years. This has been further cemented by the good results he achieved in 2018, with a great end to the season. He has already demonstrated his talent and now we have to work hard to take the next step with him, being very much aware of how strong our competitors are too.
“In addition, we’re starting a project with Joan Mir, the newcomer who will make his debut in the top class. This is the third time we’ve taken on a rookie, and we will work hard to continue the positive trend we’ve had with bringing on young riders. We strongly believe that he has great talent, and it’s up to the team now to bring out all his potential with the Suzuki GSX-RR.”
Suzuki has lost its concessions which gave them extra test days to develop their bike and engine after it finished fourth in the standings last year but more importantly, it scored nine podiums which is why it will now get same test days as the other top manufacturers.
2019 launches so far:
[Read: Suzuki thinks it is in same league as Honda, Yamaha and Ducati]