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By Last On The Brakes

Davide Brivio: Jack of all trades becomes a master of one

Fittingly, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Team Manager is this week’s guest! Get to know the figurehead behind 2020’s potential triple crown winners

It’s almost like we know how to time these MotoGP™ Podcasts to perfection, isn’t it? We spoke to Pit Beirer just before Brad Binder’s (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) Brno victory, Lin Jarvis before Yamaha’s Jerez podium lockout, Wilco Zeelenberg before Franco Morbidelli’s (Petronas Yamaha SRT) maiden MotoGP™ victory and Chad Reed right before he announced his retirement.

Now, we’ve done it again. After Joan Mir claimed the 2020 World Championship and Team Suzuki Ecstar picked up the Team Championship, who better to release a Podcast about than the figurehead behind all of the success: Davide Brivio! Want to know what it takes to be a Team Manager and how Suzuki have gone from the returning new kids on the block to World Champions? Look no further. We caught up with one of the paddock's most liked characters before their unreal weekend in Valencia. 

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“With Suzuki, the very nice thing is we really started from a white paper,” comments Brivio, chatting about Suzuki started their journey to becoming MotoGP™ world-beaters again. “And I remember one of the first meetings where I asked, because they, Suzuki left MotoGP in 2011, and when I started to talk to them was the end of 2012, and I started officially on the 1st of April 2013!

“So, we needed to reorganise the team and then I said ‘Ok, what about equipment?’ I mean, where was the base of the team, the trucks, the equipment, the crates and whatever. And they said “we’ve got nothing!” I said, “what do you mean you’ve got nothing? Where is the truck?!” - “They were not our trucks!” “Ok, where is the equipment?” “Not our equipment!” “Where is the workshop?” “We have no workshop!” So, we started, and that’s what made things much more interesting. It was very… I would restart tomorrow! As an excitement, you know. So we started from a white paper. “What do we need to buy? Let’s buy this! We need this, we need that…” Also people, equipment, everything! We start from scratch. So yeah, we’re all very happy, very proud what we’ve done.

“That’s also a nice thing that we as Suzuki, we are proud, is also this idea to bring young riders and to grow up from the beginning and create a kind of Suzuki riders. Ok, you never know because they might leave the team one day and they not any more Suzuki riders like it happens. But anyway, especially our president, our top management always try to stimulate us for going this way. You know. It’s much more difficult, much more challenging, if you like. But yeah, we are also proud of this like we started at the beginning, when we started this project there was Viñales which we took from Moto2 actually only after one year of Moto2 and also people thinking that was too early and that was not the correct way to do.

“Then when he left we did that with Alex cause we liked it that way. So we said OK, Viñales is leaving so we contracted Alex Rins, and say OK, he left, and we start again. With Alex, we can see good results so we decided to do the same with Joan Mir. Again, only one year in Moto2 then bring in straight away to MotoGP. And with Joan, when he arrived to us, he was only his 4th season in the World Championship! Two years Moto3, one Moto2 and then jumping in MotoGP. And for Suzuki it’s even more challenging because we don’t have a satellite team, we don’t have a place where we can get young riders, wait for a couple of years to see how they are and move into factory team - we have to make a bet immediately!

“We were lucky enough to find good guys, good riders. Good talent. Also, one important thing that we always tried to do since the beginning of this project is that we wanted people - riders and also team staff - kind of happy to join Suzuki, not like second, third or fourth choice. I think - we should ask them - at that time when we first started it was Aleix and Viñales and for them, it was an achievement for them to ride for Suzuki and be in a factory team. Aleix was in a private team and he joined a factory team finally, Viñales wanted to be in MotoGP and of course in a factory team - the same goes for Alex and Joan. I remember the first meeting with Joan, I said, “OK, we would like you” and we asked ‘do you want to come to Suzuki?’ He said, “yes, I want to come to Suzuki!” So we said OK, let’s talk. We really want people to be motivated to be with us.”

Here's what else Brivio chats about on this week’s episode:

- Where Davide's love of racing came from
- His first 'jobs' in racing
- First experiences working in MotoGP™ & the Rossi hay day
- Taking the winning mentality to Suzuki
- Creating home grown Suzuki Superstars
- Kenwood Quickfire

As always, head over to your favoured platform to listen to the Podcast, or give it a watch on YouTube!

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