JEREZ IRTA TEST - Day 1The best pictures from Team SUZUKI ECSTAR MotoGP from Jerez de las Frontera.
"Ricardo Tormo Circuit is like a football stadium"
After a long season of 19 rounds, the final round of the 2018 MotoGP Championship is upon us. As has been the tradition for several years, this grand finale will be held at Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain. The track, which has been on the calendar for almost 20 years, has a spectacular ‘stadium’ layout, with fantastic viewing opportunities for the many passionate fans who fill the grandstands every year.
"A double in the triple!"
The triple, as we always call the three-races-in-a-row, could not have been better for us. Three weeks of flights, jet lag, training, sleeping away from home, changing schedules ... It has been three hectic and exciting weeks in which we have been able to take a step forward. The GSX-RR has performed in a wonderful way and the we can feel the massive amount of work from all the team members and the people pushing back in Hamamatsu. This work was rewarded with three podiums in three races, and this is a big gift for Suzuki.
"Sepang is very tricky due to the high temperatures"
Just a few days after a very positive race in Phillip Island, which saw Andrea Iannone take an excellent second place and Alex Rins finish close by in 5th, it was time for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR to head to Malaysia and Sepang International Circuit. The last in the long series of fly-away races, the track has very particular needs in terms of set-up and approach. Alex Rins’ Crew Chief, Manuel Cazeaux, tells us more.
"Phillip Island suits our bike so we have high hopes here"
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR head towards Round 17 of this year’s MotoGP Championship still feeling fresh from Alex Rins’ podium and the strong pace of Andrea Iannone just a few days earlier. This weekend, Phillip Island in Australia will offer a new set of challenges but it’s one that the team and their GSX-RR feels ready to take on. Iannone’s Crew Chief, Marco Rigamonti explains why…
"The main thing to focus in Motegi is the braking"
After Buriram in Thailand kicked off the ‘fly away’ section of the 2018 calendar, the MotoGP paddock had a short rest before heading to Suzuki’s home in Japan. Twin Ring Motegi has been part of the MotoGP calendar for almost 20 years, and the popular circuit complex offers plenty of challenges for both teams and riders. Alex Rins’ Crew Chief, Manuel Cazeaux talks us through the key points and approach for this 16th round on the calendar.
These MotoGP bikes really fly!
The MotoGP caravan on its 22 stops and 15 countries (if we take into account the 19 calendar races plus the three pre-season tests) covers a total of 163,223 kilometres, which equates to approximately four times the circumference of the earth. Among these travels, the most expensive in terms of logistics and human movement are those in which the Championship personnel must collect all their gear, loading it up and traversing time zones to reach countries such as Argentina, Japan or Australia.
The rider vs electronics in MotoGP
In 2016, only one year after Suzuki’s return to MotoGP, a new rule became effective introducing what is called “unified software”. This set a base for the electronics shared by all teams, and of course changed the way to manage the electronics on the GSX-RRs.
Let’s have a talk with Claudio Rainato, Electronics Engineer working with Andrea Iannone.
"We never raced in Buriram so it will be a nice challenge"
After a successful and thrilling Aragon GP, it’s time for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and the MotoGP paddock to move on to a brand new circuit to start the ‘fly-away’ part of the 2018 season. Chang International Circuit in Buriram, Thailand, opened just four years ago and features an interesting layout with long straights and a variety of corners. Andrea Iannone’s Crew Chief, Marco Rigamonti, talks us through the approach to this new challenge…
“Our target is to be in the Top 6 and get some more podiums"
The last race in Aragon was good for us! First of all because of the podium with Andrea, the fifth one we’ve achieved this season so far, so this means we have lost the concessions for 2019 and we are getting our level of competition closer to that of the other manufacturers, and participating in the races with no advantages from the concessions. For so many people maybe this could feel like a disadvantage or a bad thing, but honestly speaking we don’t want these concessions and we want to fight on the same terms as the other manufacturers.
"Motorland is a difficult track plenty of braking at angles"
After a positive and successful race in Misano less than two weeks ago, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and the MotoGP paddock head to one of the most modern circuits on the calendar - Motorland Aragon.
A ‘food truck’ for 15,000 people
The sound of a bell rings around the walls inside the truck. Waiters move quickly among pristine white tables. Steaming trays of delicious food descend from the staircase. The hospitality bustles with life, and the sounds of hungry visitors. A procession of guests lean together at the buffet, snooping the dishes that are prepared with dedication, each and every day, by the chef of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, Michele Quarenghi, along with his second on board, Mattia Bonfanti, and the kitchen assistant Fulvio Tomasoni. They begin to tuck in, small blackboard signs revealing in chalk the secrets hidden in each hot pot.
"Misano is a special track, plenty of fast corners"
Round 13, the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano, will hopefully see a welcome return to sunshine for the MotoGP paddock following the British GP wash-out just two weeks earlier. But this special track close to Rimini is still a tricky one as Andrea Iannone’s Crew Chief, Marco Rigamonti, explains…
MEET THE RIDERS IN MISANO THANKS TO 2 WHEELS FOR LIFE
The San Marino GP will be the scene of an exclusive initiative that will see Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins meet some generous and lucky fans. The chance comes from the auction organised by 2 WHEELS FOR LIFE, thanks to which the fans will be able to contribute to the charitable money collection by placing their bids for the ten items that have been donated by the two MotoGP riders.
The lucky winners of the auctions will then be offered the chance to enter the exclusive MotoGP paddock on Saturday 8th of September and join Team SUZUKI ECSTAR in the hospitality before receiving their items straight from the hands of Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins.
andreaiannone special-features stories
Pancakes for breakfast… but no Nutella
Living in a MotoGP paddock is an immersive experience. A rider needs a place for reflection when he’s not at full throttle out on the track. The motorhomes, those shiny and impressive rolling caravans with bright decorations you see parked up in the paddock, are a refuge, a place of calm and an exclusive space where the MotoGP riders take some rest, concentrate and focus, get prepped for the track, celebrate success - and lick the wounds of failure - alongside their loved ones.
"In Silverstone we have great memories from 2016"
With the British Grand Prix just around the corner, Alex Rins’ Crew Chief Manuel Cazeaux took the time to tell us about the challenges offered by this classic track set in the English countryside.
Famed not only for its long history of motorsport racing, but also for it’s unpredictable weather - which often constitutes chilly winds and sudden downpours - this makes tyre choice one of the crucial factors over the race weekend…
“For sure here in Silverstone you have to pay attention to the track conditions because you often have a bigger range than usual of track temperatures, so we have to focus a bit more on the tyres and making them work well.”
"In Spielberg the elevation affects the engine"
Just one week after the Czech GP and a one day test at Brno, the teams and riders have moved on to the Red Bull Ring in Austria for another important race in this busy part of the season.
This circuit, set among the mountains of the Austrian Alps, has many unique qualities and requires the teams to work harder than ever behind the scenes to ensure a competitive bike. One of the key areas for the GP will be speed, as Andrea Iannone’s Crew Chief, Marco Rigamonti explains…
“It’s only a little way to victory"
His baptism in MotoGP was a bruising one, but with these wounds he came out stronger. Alex Rins has achieved two podiums this year, and is now among the top riders in the world. He is hungry for victory and the GSX-RR could be his perfect weapon...
"In Brno the riders spend a lot of time at full power"
Following a very short summer break, with just two clear weekends off, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR head to Brno for the second half of this intense 2018 season.
Alex Rins’ Crew Chief, Manuel Cazeaux, talks us through some of the key elements of this classic track in the Czech Republic. The circuit, which was first used in 1932 has undergone many changes over the years, but still possess an unusual hilly layout, and its undulating corners offer unique challenges…
“The layout means there’s an average to low corner speed, because the turns are almost all second gear, despite being quite long. So this is the main characteristic of Brno, along with the fact that half of the track is downhill and the other half is uphill. Although there’s nothing really, really special in the layout in the sense that there’s not one element which really stands out.”
“Our potential is very high, we can aspire to everything”
It wasn't the year he dreamt of, but 2017 helped Andrea Iannone to keep his head up and learn from the difficulties. As soon as the bike was more competitive and the Italian recovered his good feeling, some very promising results arrived. Two podiums and strong battles at the front of the field are good signs for the second half of the season.
"Sachsenring doesn't require a lot of power"
The next track on the 2018 MotoGP calendar is Sachsenring in Germany. This will be round 9 and it will mark another important race for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR as they hope to cement their recent good form and take yet more podiums.
"Our main target now is to lose concessions"
We were very happy to see Alex fighting with the top riders in Assen, showing no fear and battling until the end with huge determination to achieve a nice podium. It was very exciting for us, and in general it was one of the most incredible races I’ve ever seen.
"The key in Assen is to make the bike dance"
With its traditional layout, Assen is unlike any other track on the current calendar. So we caught up with Alex Rins’ Crew Chief ahead of this historical GP to hear all about the unique challenges this circuit offers for the riders and bikes.
WE DIDN'T EXPECT SUCH GREAT RESULTS SO EARLY ON
After a 2017 season full of hard work and setbacks, without great results, 2018 began in a very different manner. Four podiums and a highly competitive bike have marked the reversal of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s situation. One of the people in charge; Technical Manager, Ken Kawauchi, explains what has changed between 2017 and 2018 and what we can expect for the rest of the season.
Racing in MotoGP at 21ºC
With his glasses slipping down his nose, he gives a quick glance up, before returning his gaze to the computer screen. The temperature is nice inside the truck, a little climate bubble in the middle of the paddock. Russell Gregory Jordan (UK,1964) doesn’t care if it rains, snows, or if the sun is unbearably hot outside; "It's the best thing about this job, here in the truck I'm always at the same temperature: 21ºC," jokes the Briton who is in charge of controlling the spare parts for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.
GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA OAKLEY - RACEPhotos Suzuki during the race in the Grand Prix of Italy 2018. Fourth and fifth position.
GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA OAKLEY - QUALIFYINGPhotos Suzuki during Qualifyingin the Grand Prix of Italy 2018.
GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA OAKLEY - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in the Grand Prix of Italy 2018.
Let’s go behind the scenes of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR to understand what are the difficulties of getting to a brand new track and how engineers and the team staff handle all of this. We will have a talk with the four key roles that are mostly affected by the uncertain information; the logistics managers, the crew chiefs, the electronic engineers and – of course – the riders.
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR 2018 - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of Qatar 2018
GRAND PRIX OF ARAGON - FP1/FP2
Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of Aragón 2017
Loris Capirossi testing GSX-RR bikeFormer Suzuki MotoGP rider Loris Capirossi test the new Suzuki GSX-RR
GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY - QualifyingPhotos Suzuki during qualifying in the Grand Prix of Germany 2017
GRAND PRIX OF GERMANY - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of Germany 2017
GRAND PRIX OF NETHERLANDS - Qualifying
Photos Suzuki during qualifying in the Grand Prix of Netherlands 2017
GRAND PRIX OF NETHERLANDS - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of Netherlands 2017
GRAND PRIX OF CATALUNYA - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of Catalunya 2017
GRAND PRIX OF FRANCE - QualifyingPhotos Suzuki during qualifying in the Grand Prix of France 2017
GRAND PRIX OF FRANCE - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of France 2017
GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN - QualifyingPhotos Suzuki during qualifying in the Grand Prix of Spain 2017
GRAND PRIX OF SPAIN - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki details during FP1 and FP2 in the Grand Prix of Spain 2017
GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of The Americas 2017
GRAN PRIX OF ARGENTINA - QualifyingPhotos Suzuki during qualifying in the Grand Prix of Argentina 2017
GRAND PRIX OF ARGENTINA - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in Grand Prix of Argentina 2017
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2017 MotoGP take offTeam SUZUKI ECSTAR is aiming for victory in the MotoGP World Championship 2017 aboard the GSX-RR
Interview Andrea IannoneAndrea Iannone talks about his move to the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR MotoGP team in 2017
Interview Álex RinsÁlex Rins Interview: Rins tells us about his sensations during his time in MotoGP and SUZUKI ECSTAR
AI29 PresentationAndrea Iannone Presentation: I was born in Vasto, Italy, on August 9th, 1989
AR42 PresentationÁlex Rins Suzuki Presentation: I was three when i rode a moto for the first time
Interview Davide BrivioDavid Brivio talks about Suzuki third season: "We look this season with a lot of interest".
GRAND PRIX OF QATAR - FP1/FP2Photos Suzuki during FP1 and FP2 in the Grand Prix of Qatar 2017