Suzuki Press Release: Q&A With Davide Brivio After Suzuki's MotoGP Team Announcement

After the official announcement that Suzuki will be returning to MotoGP, made at the Intermot in Cologne today, the Suzuki press office issued the following press release, containing a question and answer session with Suzuki MotoGP team boss Davide Brivio:


FIVE MINUTES WITH SUZUKI MOTOGP'S DAVIDE BRIVIO

Team Suzuki Press Office – September 30.

Suzuki has unveiled its plans for MotoGP at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany today, where its 2015 model line-up was revealed to the world’s press.

The Japanese firm has been absent from the Blue Riband race series since 2012, but is back with an all-new bike, a new Team Manager in Davide Brivio and two new riders: Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales.

We spoke to David Brivio at Cologne and asked him about his involvement with the new project.

How long have you been working with the Suzuki MotoGP team?

“Since the beginning, in April 2013 I joined Suzuki and carried on the preparation.”

Can you tell us if the new bike uses any parts from the old GSV-R MotoGP bike?

“No, the GSX-RR is completely new. It's a total redesign from a blank sheet of paper.”

Why has Suzuki moved to an inline-four design?

“Well, to be also closer to our production bikes. One of the aims of participation in MotoGP is to develop technology to transfer to production bikes. So using the same engine layout there means stronger links to our production. That’s the target; the aim.”

What problems have you had so far? During development, what was the big headache for you?

“Now we are working a lot on the electronics, because the electronics are very sophisticated in MotoGP and we have been out for a few years, so we need to recover. And also we are working on engine performance - not so much the top speed of the engine - but more the drivability of the engine and the power. And we have to enter and see where we are; how much work we have to do!”

How close are you just now? What is your expectation for 2015?

“We have to try to, I think, get close with Ducati, even though they have been struggling for many years. Then we can see the way to the top…”

New Suzuki models introduced at the Cologne show include the new Suzuki GSX-R1000 ABS, which will be available in the MotoGP machine colour scheme in some countries, the naked GSX-S1000/ABS, the faired version GSX-S1000F/ABS, the Address 110 scooter, the V-Strom 650XT ABS, the Bandit 1250S ABS and the fully faired version of the Inazuma 250F.

Models, specifications and colours may vary in different Suzuki markets worldwide. Please refer to your local Suzuki distributor website.

2014

Back to top

Comments

Expectations for 2015?

"We have to try to, I think, get close with Ducati, even though they have been struggling for many years."

Yep. Ugh. Even in an in-house press release interview. There is much to cheer for and hope, and it is for sure great to have Suzuki and Aprilia entering. My gut, however, synchs and sinks with this.

My concern is that they will be battling with...THIS yr's Ducatis, Barbera, and pipping Hernandez. Dovi and Iannone? Tailsections and missed tows.

HOPE? 2016, A Espargaro + Michelin + Integrated electronics + neutral handling bike + luck + Honda hesitation in adapting = good stuff

Why has Suzuki moved to an inline-four design?

“Well, to be also closer to our production bikes. One of the aims of participation in MotoGP is to develop technology to transfer to production bikes. So using the same engine layout there means stronger links to our production. That’s the target; the aim.”

Isn't this thought completely backwards? Shouldn't the developing technology steer whats goes in the production bike, not whats in the production bike steer what technology to use? If a V4 (for arguments sake) is better than an I4 move your production bikes to V4 so they align, don't force the development of the V4.

Sounds like they are racing for marketing with the illusion of technical development.

It does seem backward to me too. But it's so obvious it makes me wonder if I'm missing something. I'd be interested to hear what the gearheads have to say.

oops, at the end of the first paragraph I meant to say "don't force the development of the I4"

Can we really not edit our own comments on here?

Commercial considerations will flavour everything.

But for sake of discssion... since the introduction of 4 strokes we have had

V5 winning three times, V4 (inc ducati) winning four times (inc this year - its a virtual likelyhood) and finally an inline 4 winning six times.

Backwards is Hondas RCV to its flagship road bike the Fireblade, just when, if ever, will the rumoured V4 Blade surface?

I take the opposite view on that, I think Honda have it 100% correct.

They go racing to race and they go into business with the public to make money. The two environments are vastly different and no doubt they will lead to different results. Honda don't enforce the requirements of mass producing "affordable" motorcycles for mere mortals on their cutting edge expensive racers ridden and maintained by motorcycling gods; and vice-versa. They don't because that imposes compromise.

If Suzuki's decision to go for an I4 is because it aligns with their production machines, they are compromising their racing to benefit their business. I see the ones who ultimately pay for this will be Espargaro, Vinales (+ teams) and all of us (the followers of MotoGP) because they wont have a chance of winning as Suzuki are making a bike which isn't solely designed for the environment in which it is used.

Then again I'm an engineer, not a businessman

I4 production is so much easier/cheaper and the packaging is OK too, so it makes sense. V4 is lovely, but it will not be mainstream product. The learning is about fuel efficiency, ride-ability/low range torque and new materials etc., not engine format. Yamaha's ability to make their I4 'work' against Honda's V shows the lessons to be learnt.
The rules make true innovation in engine types very unlikely.

It's a crossplane type engine from all reports. When Suzuki stated that, it's so they can apply what they learn in GP to their GSXR line. From the sound of it they want to make their GSXR600/1000 a crossplane following Yamaha's lead.

Yamaha have shown that there is more than one answer to a competitive bike. The rules limit what you do - so why try and follow big-budget HRC when they are likely to be able to out-perform you based on spending capacity? Better to follow Yamaha until someone brave allows other engine types/configurations.
There is huge appeal to being able to buy what they race (or, at least, kid yourself and others)so why not?
A V4 isn't exactly ground-breaking. It's what you do with the basic configuration that sets you apart.

The others have it as near to 100% as makes no matter. It's budget that makes the difference at that level, and budget buys you brains and multiple concurrent activities. That's R&D. Ask any F1 team.

You could say there's no point racing unless you have HRC's budget and experience and follow their model. I say don't give up and aim high - find another route to beat them at their game. They have been beaten to world championships before by a little team.