Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was second fastest on Friday at the Motul TT Assen, and only a tenth off the quickest time of on the combined timesheets set by Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP). The Italian has had top Friday form at a number of Grands Prix this year so far and Assen seems no different, but Hamamatsu factory Suzuki also have an ‘updated’ engine this weekend.
“We are using an updated engine, the same specification that Sylvain Guintoli raced and used all weekend in Barcelona,” explains Davide Brivio, Team Manager. “It has a bit better power, we don’t expect a big jump but the performance should have a bit more speed but keeping the smooth character. The riders will compare it and then we’ll see their impressions.”
After FP1 and FP2, Iannone confirmed the jump wasn’t great at Assen – but it’s not a track where he’d expect it to be: “I don’t feel it a lot on this track because at this track the engine isn’t really important. But maybe I’ll try it on another track! In any case, it’s always positive when they improve the engine and also the other areas.”
Other areas? That may be referencing the carbon additions that have been seen on the chassis of the Suzukis for a while now – with Iannone now on board with the innovation too.
“Chassis-wise we’re continuing with the carbon parts,” confirms Brivio. “Alex on both bikes and Andrea on only one because Alex decided straight on it away in Mugello, and raced there and in Barcelona with it. But Andrea only decided after the Barcelona test, so now we’re producing more. We’ll see what the good combination is between chassis and engine.”
After a more difficult race day in Barcelona but good podium form already this season, the Dutch TT is a good reset for both Iannone and teammate Alex Rins to push towards the front again – with P2 and P9 respectively a good place to start.
Iannone: "We improved the stability a lot"
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