Since 2019 the rider combination has remained the same, with 2020 World Champion Joan Mir and Alex Rins. The Spanish pairing have a wealth of experience on Team Suzuki Ecstar’s GSX-RR machinery, and both have proven to be top contenders. Mir ended the 2020 season sensationally as World Champion after a string of impressive performances, while Rins finished close behind in third place overall after fighting back during a season marred by injury.
Team Suzuki Ecstar will run the GSX-RR in its latest livery, which includes new sponsorship from global drinks giant Monster Energy. The machine has developed and become stronger in recent years due to the hard work and expertise behind the scenes at Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan and, despite a development freeze for all manufacturers in 2021, Team Suzuki Ecstar are confident in the bike and its ability to perform and also be improved upon. The aim will be to build on the success achieved in 2020, where Team Suzuki Ecstar also clinched the ‘MotoGP Team Championship’ title, with sights focused on the podium places and defending the title this year.
The 2021 season marks Suzuki’s seventh season back in the FIM’s premier championship, MotoGP™, and an action-packed 19-round provisional calendar has been released.
Starting with the first round in Qatar on March the 28th and ending with the season finale in Valencia, Spain on November the 14th, taking in 13 countries, including a new stop in KymiRing in Finland.
Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader and Team Director:
“The 2020 was a fantastic season for us, as winning World title for the rider and the Team. This 2021 season will be a challenging one for us, as we are aiming to achieve even better result than last year, but I’m confident that we will be able to take on this important role and fight to get great results. Due to the Covid restrictions it is going to be another very strange season, and the freezing of the engine development leaves us with fewer areas to adjust and work on, so the level of competition will be just as high as last year. For sure we are facing a new era in our team, with the new organisation that we had to put in place: so I will be more present at the races, and I will be supported by all the team members in their respective responsibilities. We have grown a mature and solid team so I am fully confident that together we will find the best way to be efficient and effective. Both Joan Mir and Alex Rins have done a lot of winter preparation, they have arrived motivated and determined ahead of this new season, so we will give our 100% to provide them with the best conditions and tools to perform well and fight for top positions.”
“This new season seems like it will be a thrilling one with a lot of quick contenders. Despite winning last year I don’t consider myself as the ‘favourite’ for this season, because I believe that there is still a lot of work to do and big results to achieve. But nevertheless, I come into 2021 as ‘the man to beat’, and for sure there is some pressure surrounding that. Honestly I don’t mind it – I see it as a positive thing because pressure has always given me an extra push rather than holding me back. Again it is going to be a strange season with this Covid pandemic and all the travel restrictions, but I do hope that things will go better and better not only for us, the MotoGP family, but also for all our fans around the world. I left my GSX-RR last year with very good feelings, the limitations on the development prevented big steps of improvement, but I’m confident that the R&D department in Suzuki and our track engineers and mechanics have found some steps to improve.”
“All winter I’ve been looking forward to getting back on track! I have done a lot of training, especially with my track bike, but nothing actually beats riding my GSX-RR. I think this year could be a great one for us, we have a strong team and a strong bike. We’re more motivated than ever, and we know that our bike is able to win so we’re ready to fight. The calendar is quite full, despite everything, and there are many fast riders, so building a consistent campaign will be the key as always.”
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