4 months ago
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After Andrea Iannone’s (Team Suzuki Ecstar) second consecutive podium at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, and Suzuki’s third in a row after Alex Rins’ Argentina rostrum, the Hamamatsu factory are on the cusp of losing their concessions for the 2019 season.
After failing to pick up a podium in 2017, Suzuki regained the concessions they were originally entitled to after re-entering the MotoGP™ Championship in 2015. However, after a stellar start to their 2018 campaign, the Japanese factory are only three concession points away from being unable to utilise the benefits that come with concessions - starting in 2019.
So, what are the benefits that Suzuki will potentially out on next season? This season, Suzuki, Aprilia and KTM are allocated nine engines per rider, with the teams also allowed to openly develop their engines throughout the season.
However, if they carry on their rich vein of form, Suzuki will only have seven engines available to each of their riders in 2019, with the development of said engines frozen – the same as Honda, Yamaha and Ducati.
At the pre-season test in Qatar, Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager Davide Brivio highlighted some of the benefits Suzuki would have in 2018. However, he remained hopeful they wouldn’t need to fully utilise the concessions. “There is the possibility to upgrade the engines, we will see, hopefully we don’t need but just in case.”
In 2017, Suzuki encountered problems with their engine, but because their developments were frozen, the issue couldn’t be rectified. Brivio explains, “we had a problem last year with the engine, but we couldn’t develop because there was a freeze. In that situation, we might take some counter measurements.”
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Aldridge and Brivio on Suzuki concessions
In addition to the engine limitations, according to the FIM World Championship Grand Prix Regulations, Suzuki could also be limited to only having a maximum of three Wild Card entries throughout the season, instead of the six they’re able to use this year.
The granting and removal of concessions is based on the accrual by the manufacturer of Concession Points during races, in dry or wet conditions, taking into account all riders using that manufacturer’s machines.
The concession points system:
First place = 3 concession points
Second place = 2 concession points
Third place = 1 concession point
When a manufacturer reaches six concession points, the right to unlimited testing days is immediately cancelled. So, if Suzuki were to win a race and reach the six points, they’d be restricted to a maximum of five days testing for the remainder of 2018.
However, engine restrictions would be implemented at the start of the following season – not immediately. Therefore, if Suzuki were to win at Le Mans for example, they’d still be entitled to nine engines per rider for 2018, as well as being able to upgrade their engine if they so wish.
Nevertheless, Suzuki aren’t in the MotoGP™ paddock to make use of concessions, they’re in it to win - with incredible form so far this season and much increased competitivity.
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