Friday at the Motul Grand Prix of Japan saw Team Suzuki Ecstar test rider Sylvain Guintoli test a 2020 prototype of the GSX-RR, and it seems to have been a positive outing for the Frenchman.
Speaking after Free Practice Friday, the Suzuki wildcard praised the performance of the new engine and, for a rider who has done more laps than you could count around the Twin Ring Motegi, setting his best-ever lap at the circuit today is surely a good sign for next season.
MotoGP™ FP2 in Japan: Who will top Day 1?
“We’re working on the engine for 2020 and the first feeling is positive. We are trying to improve some phases but already we can see some positive data and some positive feedback. It’s great and for me today, was really good too. I did my best ever time here in Motegi this afternoon,” said Guintoli.
“We are looking at different aspects. More speed is obviously always better but we’re also looking at some different aspects. For now, I can’t give away too many details but we’re trying to make sure it’s improved overall.”
Team Suzuki Ecstar Team Manager Davide Brivio confirmed to motogp.com pitlane reporter Simon Crafar that Guintoli is “testing the first prototype of a new engine for next year,” with Alex Rins – a 2020 title hopeful – saying “we didn't talk today but he's tested it before and we spoke then. The comments were nice, so this gives me extra motivation for the 2020 season.”
A lap of Motegi with Simon Crafar & GoPro™
For now though, Rins’ main attention is firmly on Suzuki’s home race in Japan this weekend. Sitting P11 after Friday and with Saturday looking to be wet, the Spaniard has work to do in Q1 if he’s to qualify well. FP3 begins at 10:50 local time (GMT+9), tune in to see how Rins, teammate Joan Mir and Guintoli get on ahead of qualifying.
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