In the 2019 season, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR made a huge step forward. Alex Rins won two races, at COTA and Silverstone, and concluded the season fourth in the championship. Meanwhile, their rookie rider Joan Mir finished in the top ten on nine occasions and finished twelfth in the riders’ standings, despite an injury and an absence of two races over the summer.
At the end of December, we drove four hours from Tokyo to Suzuki’s hometown Hamamatsu to conduct an exclusive interview with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR project leader Shinichi Sahara and the technical manager Ken Kawauchi.
Q: The 2019 GSX-RR doesn’t seem to have a big difference from the previous year’s spec, especially in terms of the chassis …
Kawauchi: Although there was a very subtle difference here and there, the main frame with carbon wrapping is almost the same as the 2018 final version.
Q: Does the ‘spoon’ (the spoiler attachment underneath the swingarm) have some aerodynamic effect?
Kawauchi: There is no big difference, to be honest. Maybe it is just a bit better if you have it on your bike. It is such a very small difference.
Q: Do you improve your lap time with this material?
Sahara: I’d love to believe that it has some positive effect for the lap time….