Joan Mir reckons that a substantial improvement to either Suzuki’s qualifying pace or its top speed can make it a victory contender in all the MotoGP races in 2020.
Suzuki’s one-lap woes have been well-documented over the year with Alex Rins only managing to qualify on the front row once, and Mir’s highest grid position being fifth.
That, combined with Suzuki lacking top speed compared to bikes like Ducati or Honda, has been an issue for the Hamamatsu-based manufacturer, and it’s one of these two deficits that Mir wants fixed for 2020.
“On the chassis area, we need to improve on the fast lap, we need to use a bit better the new tyre. This for sure is an area that we have to improve,” said Mir.
“On the engine, a bit more top speed, to be a bit closer to the Ducatis and Hondas. At the end, we need to improve the top speed or the qualifying. [Lacking] both things is really difficult.
“Probably if we improve one of these areas we are able to fight for the victory in all the races, but this is the handicap that we have at the moment.”
Suzuki brought a new engine for the Valencia post-season test, which received positive feedback from both Rins and Mir, with the former saying that it is a slight improvement in terms of top speed and acceleration.
“I am quite happy with the work done in these two days,” said Rins, who was sixth-fastest overall in the Valencia test, right behind teammate Mir.
“Looks like we don’t lose on any area. We just improve a little bit on the straight and also on acceleration.
“This track is not easy to see clearly the difference. My feelings, I am comfortable. I am riding fast, riding still with margin to improve.”
Team boss Davide Brivio revealed that Suzuki will bring a new chassis for the Malaysia test in 2020 as the team’s main focus for the final test of 2019 at Jerez is the engine.
“[Valencia] was a positive test for sure, we got this new engine which seems to be positive, an improvement,” Brivio told motogp.com.
“The riders both like that and we also try back to back, compare with the old one, always we got the positive feedback.
“Also during these two days we went through a few settings, checking some parts that we have as alternative during the year, it was quite useful to understand a few things.
“Now the important thing is to carry on, go to Jerez, check again, get full confirmation of this improvement.
“Then wait for Sepang where we should receive much more things around chassis area.
“Now the job is on the engine because we wanted more performance, more speed, and let’s see, seems to be okay.
“On the chassis part, our bike is not so bad but we have a few areas where we want to improve.”
Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova and Lewis Duncan