Suzuki season hampered by Iannone's wrong engine choice

Suzuki's 2017 MotoGP season has been hampered by Andrea Iannone choosing the wrong specification of engine to be homologated in winter testing last year, Motorsport.com has learned.

Suzuki season hampered by Iannone's wrong engine choice
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Davide Brivio, Suzuki MotoGP Team Manager
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Andrea Iannone, Team Suzuki MotoGP

After winning its first race since 2007 at Silverstone with Maverick Vinales last year, Suzuki has endured a difficult 2017 season, with riders Iannone and Alex Rins sitting 16th and 20th in the standings.

Iannone, recruited from Ducati to replace Vinales, has suffered a particularly torrid time aboard the GSX-RR, scoring just two top-finishes this season at Austin and Assen.

One of Suzuki's weak points this year has been its engine, specifically its character and how it reacts.

Last year, Vinales and his teammate Aleix Espargaro realised last year that they could enter some corners aggressively, but lacked acceleration exiting them, as well as top speed.

To compensate for this problem, Suzuki built a new engine that wasn’t tested on track until last November's Jerez test, some days after the end of the 2016 season in Valencia.

Rins didn’t take part in that test as he was injured after a crash in Valencia, giving Iannone sole responsibility in terms of decision-making.

At Jerez, the Italian tested the two available engines: one with the 2016 base, and another one with a new setting, and concluded that the latter was clearly better.

Suzuki therefore homologated that specification for the season - but the team's poor results have led the team to think that Iannone's initial feedback about the engine may not have been accurate.

This theory was seemingly proved after both riders tried an engine that was very similar to the 2016 one after last month's August race, and ended up pleased with its benefits and performance. 

“In the test we did after Brno, Alex tried an engine with similar specs to the 2016 and was very happy," Brivio told Motorsport.com. "Andrea had already tested it and gave us the same feedback.

"The problem is that we can’t use it, as per the rules."

Suzuki stayed on at Aragon for a two-day test this week, continuing to compare the 2016 and 2017 engines and also evaluating chassis improvements for the forthcoming flyaway races.

"We’re satisfied by these two days because it is important to find some time, away from the pressure, to get back to some things we've previously tried, and also to try new improvements," said Brivio.

"We could test new configurations to be used within the remaining portion of this season, and also test some new pieces for the 2018 machine that we would like to have ready for the Valencia test in November.

"We would like to test the first new 2018 configuration there."

Translation by Irene Aneas

shares
comments
Iannone feels he’s “never been so slow”
Previous article

Iannone feels he’s “never been so slow”

Next article

Suzuki trials new 'moustache' fairing in Motegi practice

Suzuki trials new 'moustache' fairing in Motegi practice
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve Prime

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken Pol Espargaro's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Prime

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Prime

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the 2021 MotoGP title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and a revitalised Marc Marquez. Read on to see who makes our top 10 list.

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Prime

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Prime

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Prime

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Motorsport.com's pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021