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Brivio: ‘We have two motivated and ambitious riders’

Brivio: ‘We have two motivated and ambitious riders’

At the Monza Rally Show last weekend, Davide Brivio, Director of the Suzuki MotoGP team, spoke to about the factory’s riders and the progress of the manufacturer in improving their bike as they prepare to return to MotoGP™ in 2015.

How would you summarise the Valencia and Jerez tests and how do you see the overall status of the Suzuki project?

“Firstly, both riders are very happy. The fact that both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales completed the tests in Jerez and left for their vacations with smiles on their faces is a very important sign. Clearly we still have a lot of work to do, but Aleix lapped within a second of the fastest rider in Valencia, while Maverick is learning. Unfortunately, in Jerez we had bad weather, we could only work on the second day. The bike is fun and it rides well, we must work on performance, but we have two perfect riders for this project.”

“Now it’s our job to give them a good package that allows them to push. I like them because they are two guys motivated by a strong desire to succeed. Those were some of the important qualities which led to our decision select them and was why we wanted them with us.”

Two of the key points where you are most focused as a factory are reliability and engine power?

“Yes, it's a difficult situation to resolve. We have engines that work well, from the point of view of durability in the test workshop. But when used on the track breakages occur. For this reason we have used slightly lower power so far. The two aspects are already under study, our goal now is to find a fair compromise and be ready for the first race.”

What other ways can you work with the bike?

“We have to improve electronics, also improve traction control, but overall the bike has a good base. Perhaps it is more difficult to make a good chassis than a good engine. Obviously for us everything will be entirely new. In 2015 things will be 'challenging', we know we have very strong rivals, but we’ll also try to get close to them and I think we have two riders able to do that.”

Espargaro already has a lot of experience, but were you surprised to see Viñales was so comfortable from his first outing with a MotoGP bike?

“Maverick is a talent, no doubt. Just look what he managed to do in his debut year in Moto2. He has won races each year, even in his debut season. He is a special rider and we’re excited to have him. He is young and wants to be successful quickly. Aleix is only 25 but has a lot of experience behind him. He’s a rider who will help us to develop our bike.”

You are also returning to MotoGP yourself, on the front line, after a few years away…

“I am very happy with this adventure and I’ve been involved in this project from the start. In terms of rider choice, where I was a key voice, we have been able to form a good team. Also new members have joined the technical staff, and from the beginning we have created a very friendly and positive environment. What we still lack, I repeat, is to be able to squeeze the maximum power from our engine, but we will try to fix it and do well.”

MotoGP, 2015, Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Viñales, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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