Livio Suppo comments on Qatar GP falling short of expectations for Suzuki
It is common knowledge that the Suzuki Ecstar team fell well short of expectations in the MotoGP GP of Qatar, in which Joan Mir was their best rider – in sixth place just ahead of teammate Alex Rins. For Livio Suppo, team principal, certain factors can explain it, even assuming that a race was expected at a different pace than Pol Espargaró (Repsol Honda) printed at the front.
Speaking to the Last on the Brakes podcast, the Italian official began by pointing out that the small differences in bike performance make it particularly difficult for riders, with the pressure to avoid even the smallest mistakes: “As we always say, MotoGP is a very competitive championship right now, with a lot of different riders and bikes that could potentially win the race. So it becomes more and more difficult. As always, the runners are the ones who make the most difference and at the moment I think because the margins are so tight, you have to have a very strong mentality. Saturday [from Losail] we were third or fourth, even though we were two-tenths off first with both riders. […]. It’s a big task for the drivers to manage this pressure and live with these small margins, because for small mistakes you can lose a lot of grid positions and then the race becomes more difficult, so it’s not easy “.
Regarding the Losail race and what took Suzuki away from the expected results, Suppo commented: “The race was certainly below expectations, especially after Friday’s practice. We tried to analyze what happened. My personal feeling is that one of the things that probably influenced our race was the pace that Pol set from the start – which was probably a mistake, because at the end Pol also ran out of rear tire and found himself third after leading most of the race. We expected that to happen as usual in Qatar, with a slower pace at the start and maybe it could also worry the driver about pushing too hard because of the tyres. It’s also the first race of the season, we know that Qatar is always a bit different”.