Tag Archives: Team Suzuki Ecstar

2019 Álex Rins Interview At Circuit Of The Americas

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Álex Rins is off to a strong start in 2019. He snagged a fourth-place finish in the season opener in Qatar and followed that up with a fifth-place result in Argentina. He’s the veteran on the team this year, his third in the premier class, as he’s joined by MotoGP rookie Joan Mir, so he’s got a lot on his shoulders in terms of moving the GSX-RR further in development. We caught up with Rins following the first day of free practice at Circuit of The Americas and asked about the areas that still need improvement.

“I think braking area, top speed area, those areas I would like to improve the bike,” Rins explained. “We improve rhythm last year and it’s nice because it’s difficult to improve these things. When you ask can I have more power on the straight, they bring more power on the straight by maybe opening the throttle. More areas of the bike. So we get three, four kilometers per hour on the straight, and on throttle the same. So this is good.

“We try a very fast engine on the straight this preseason in Jerez, but was more aggressive. So they bring a middle engine and was engine we are using now.”

When looking back at the progress over his three years with Suzuki, the bike has come a very long way. Even against the bike from last year, there are marked improvements.

“For example comparing last year, the bike doesn’t change like one second faster, just two- or three-tenths, and this is very important. Now in the race I am able to be three-tenths faster, but three-tenths faster in 20 laps is a lot of time.”

According to Rins, the standout positives of the GSX-RR as it is now are corner speed, drive, and traction. If Suzuki are able to get complement these with better braking and top speed, you can expect to see Rins battling much more frequently in the lead pack.

But advancements may progress slower than with other teams, particularly for the fact that Suzuki only has two bikes on the grid to work with and a new rider in the garage still coming up to speed in MotoGP. One positive, though, is the test rider Suzuki has in Sylvain Guintoli.

“He (Guintoli) is very fast. Our riding style is similar, so this is helping me to try things and all the things I try works good. With a satellite team, will be better for sure. But I am quite happy with Sylvain. Since last year that he start to work with us, the development of the bike changes a lot.”

Rins also offered some insight into the state of the track at COTA, which has become a notoriously bumpy, difficult place to ride. Unfortunately, things haven’t gotten much better.

“The track, it’s getting worse. The bumps are a big problem for us. Worse than last year. They did a very good job in T8 and T9 where they put new asphalt, but the rest of the place is disaster.”

That puts a big hit on confidence, particularly for the fact that on some laps the bike will remain stable in trouble areas, and on some laps it will not. Despite that, and the fact that Rins suffered a massive crash at the circuit previously, it’s still one of his favorite layouts.

One thing Rins doesn’t have to worry about is the atmosphere in the garage. He and Mir are off to a great start, and the atmosphere is positive and supportive.

“It’s perfect. On the team the atmosphere is very good. This is important because we have no fear in the team. It’s like a family, together. It’s nice.”

And when he’s not racing, Rins now calls Andorra home, where he recently moved to help improve his training.

“There in the mountains we have a good altitude. I’m living at 1,000 meters compared to Barcelona (where he was born) I was living at 0, sea level. So this for training is better. It’s like a natural doping.

“I do gym, mountain bike, cycling, road bike. On the winter season we did some ski. Swimming pool. A little bit of motorbike there because it’s a small country and you don’t have a lot of MX tracks for training. So a little bit of everything.”

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

2019 Joan Mir Interview at Circuit of The Americas

Joan Mir is new to MotoGP and Team Suzuki Ecstar this year, and when we caught up with him at Circuit of The Americas he’d notched an eighth-place finish in Qatar and a DNF in Argentina. He’s a Moto3 world champion, with one season of Moto2 under his belt as well. Dawdling in the lower classes was never Mir’s plan as he has long had his sights on the premier class.

“When I won the championship in Moto3, that year (2017) I said to my people that I don’t want to be a Moto2 rider,” Mir said. “I want to be a MotoGP rider and I want to go there. In the first part of the season if I am competitive and a good contract comes with a good bike, I will go up to MotoGP. This happened. First race was really good. Everything, podiums, fighting for victories. Some contracts came at that time and I decided.”

It was a positive move, too, since the Moto2 bike felt to Mir like more of a streetbike than a racebike, even when compared to the Moto3 machines.

“Last year the Honda engine, it looked like a streetbike not a racing bike. The Moto3 is a racing bike. In the MotoGP again is a racing bike. It’s a lot better to my riding style and everything. I enjoy it. I enjoy a lot more riding the MotoGP to riding Moto2. A lot more. You can see data. When you enjoy, you go fast and everything is coming easy.”

A similar comparison can be made when you get down to finer details as well, such as the gearbox.

“It looks like an automatic bike. It’s really nice. I compared a lot with the Moto3 because it’s really similar. The Moto3 also was really smooth and everything. Then the Moto2 was a straight streetbike and again difficult, but this one is really good.

“I remember my first time that I rode the MotoGP. I tried without the anti-wheelie, and I don’t know what happened with the front wheel but I didn’t touch the ground in all the straights. It was a good memory. I will never forget the first time.”

Plus, Mir has the potential to really shine on the GSX-RR, or any top-tier racebike for that matter, because he’s completely comfortable pushing a bike to its limits.

“I like the movement. I like to rodeo on the bike. It’s my style. I like it. This is the more difficult part, that the team has to understand your riding style and what you need to go fast. This is the most difficult thing for a rookie and for a not experienced rider, that the team has to know your riding style, what you need. You need more electronics, less electronics, the power in that way, the first part of the power in that way. It’s really difficult. This is the most difficult thing.”

That also makes providing development input difficult, though there are some definite strengths to the GSX-RR in Mir’s estimation.

“The strongest point is the handling. The turning is the best point because at the end the Ducati and the Honda have a really good engine, and the engine we are a bit behind, but the chassis is quite good. We are working on it. The Suzuki is a really competitive bike. It’s nice to grow with them also because I’m also a rookie and I need to learn from the category and also improve one bike, so it’s really difficult.”

Even so, Mir knows his strengths and is diving in to help the engineers and team as best he can.

“Normally talking about the riding style and everything, I’m good on the brakes. The brakes I’m really good. I think that I give good information to the engineers. They may know the areas. This is important also. It accelerates a lot the learning process.”

He’s also working hard to bring his body up to shape to be as competitive as possible on the new machine, cross-training in other motorcycle disciplines and hitting the gym.

“Since I was a kid, I train in all the motorbikes because I like a lot the motocross. The deer track, the trials bike. Also I touch a little bit the trials bike. I’m thinking that everything gives you a little bit some skill to take to MotoGP.

“We work a lot of areas. Running and everything. Also with the MotoGP you work a little bit more in the gym than Moto3. This is something that you don’t get in one year or half a year. It’s impossible. Also I am growing. It’s difficult all this, but on the bike I’m strong.”

Source: MotorCyclistOnline.com

Suzuki Ecstar’s Rins & Mir head to Malaysian test

Alex Rins & Joan Mir all set for Malaysian MotoGP Test

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Joan Mir are heading to Malaysia for the first test of 2019, as the riders debut the all new livery for 2019 on their GSX-RRs.

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Joan Mir
Joan Mir

The winter break has been used by the team to prepare an advanced version of the technical package that will be available to the Factory Riders from the beginning of the season. The main goal was finding increased power without losing traction, as well as improving the behaviour of the bike in corner entry and exit.

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Alex Rins
Alex Rins

As already announced, the lineup will be composed of the two young Spaniards, a choice designed to continue Suzuki’s philosophy of bringing on and growing young talent.

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Joan Mir
Joan Mir
Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader

“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 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.”

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Alex Rins
Alex Rins

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.

Alex Rins

“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.”

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Alex Rins
Alex Rins

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.

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Joan Mir
Joan Mir
Joan Mir

“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.”

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Joan Mir
Joan Mir
Davide Brivio – Team Manager

“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.”

MotoGP Suzuki Ecstar Preview Alex Rins
Alex Rins

Source: MCNews.com.au

Waters signs multi-year agreement with Team Ecstar Suzuki

Waters signs multi-year agreement with Team Ecstar Suzuki

Three-time Superbike to remain aboard Suzuki machinery through 2020 season.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Victorian Josh Waters will remain with Team Suzuki Ecstar Australia for the next two years after signing a multi-year agreement to contest the 2019 and 2020 seasons of the YMF Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Waters joined the squad for its inaugural season in 2017, which ultimately saw him seal his third Australian superbike title. Following a tough title defence this year, the number 21 wound up fourth in the championship standings.

“I’m excited to continue this partnership,” said Waters. “I have raced for Suzuki for over 10 years both here and overseas, I have a great team around me, we put in a lot of work this year and ended the season with some strong finishes and a race win, which was great. The goal is pretty simple next year, I want to win the title back”

The first official outing for the squad in 2019 will be the ASBK opener at Phillip Island, which will run alongside the WorldSBK on 22-24 February.

Source: CycleOnline.com.au