Team Suzuki Press Office – January 13.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Team Manager Davide Brivio talks about an outstanding 2018 season that netted a total of nine podium finishes for the team and the GSX-RR.

Before the 2018 season started, did you set any goals for yourself or the team? If yes, were those goals missed, achieved, or surpassed?

Personally I hardly set clear objectives in terms of numbers – when we started the season I didn’t think about a final position or how many podiums we’d get. Needless to say that the final objective, and the reason we are all here, is to try and win the World Championship. Everything that happens before reaching that goal is simply another step towards it. Winning the title is something which is very, very hard to achieve, so our main objective was to lose the concessions as soon as possible, therefore by collecting 6 points (2 points for each second place, and 1 for third place) and losing the concessions quite early in the season, I must say that 2018 went better than expected. At the beginning I could never imagine this outcome: nine podiums, four times second, and at least a couple of races very close to the victory. Alex Rins’ fast growth, especially at the end of the season where he became very consistent and quick, was also great to witness. I’m very happy.

Where have these positive results come from?

From a technical point of view, since last winter we’ve been able to rely on a better bike, we had improved on some weak areas that we found in 2017. I want to say thank you to the engineers in Japan for this, they did a good job during the winter which finally led us to have a better package available. The second reason are the riders: there is no doubt that Alex Rins improved impressively throughout the season, and his increased performance also started a great respectful rivalry between himself and Andrea Iannone, which I believe was positive for both of them as they pushed each other. Last but not least, the whole team working in the garage and travelling together the whole season. We already proved to be a strong squad last year – we stuck together despite the rough season we had in 2017. Finally we came out stronger and we were able to give our maximum. The mechanics, engineers, and technicians worked very well, we made the best out of the material we had at our disposal. Thanks to all these different aspects we achieved this strong season, it was true team work at its finest. I think it’s something extraordinary and I want to draw attention to it.

What kind of emotion do you get from those nine podiums, and how do the achievements change your motivation and expectations?

There’s no doubt that nine podiums give you a very nice feeling, but they also put some pressure on your shoulders because now we must improve even further. These nine podiums represent a record for Suzuki since the MotoGP class era, so now we have the pressure to beat this record. But it’s right that there should be pressure; because this is the sport, this is racing, and what we must deal with. Therefore, I still don’t know how, but we must get even better results and we will do all we can to achieve this. The first and biggest dream we have is to win a race. We’ve placed in 2nd four times, three of which were with Alex, therefore it would be a natural evolution for him to try to win and this will be our objective, hopefully in the short term.

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