Suzuki was part of the group of four teams that filed a complaint during the post-Grand Prix in Qatar, which was completely rejected after Mies' decision. In this protest, many saw the desire to wrest the victory in Losail from the hands of Andrea Dovizioso, but Davide Brivio wanted to, once again, clarify that this was not the case.
"First of all, I must stress, again" began Brivio, "that even at the time of the appeal, before starting the discussion, we all made it clear that our goal was not to change the result in Qatar. It was not anyone's interest do so. No one wanted to take Dovizioso's victory away from him."
What was the real reason behind the protest?
"The reason for this protest was, instead, to better understand the regulation, to understand what is allowed and what is not, what the limits are. The decision took place after we entered a sphere that, I would say, was much more legal and political, rather than technical. That system was approved based on the fact that its function was to cool the tires while, in our opinion, it created a downforce effect that, during the appeal, was then amply demonstrated and even admitted by Ducati. So we achieved our goal: that the solution created a downforce."
What do you mean when you talk about a decision that is more legal than technical?
"Right now, we are waiting for the reasons to understand the background that led to the decision. For now, we have only received a statement rejecting the appeal, but we don’t have a detailed explanation. In our opinion, the reason for the decision will be linked to Ducati's intention to cool the tires with that solution and not to exploit the created downforce that, however, exists. I think this was the reason behind that decision."
So we can say that the intention is in line with the regulation, while the application has other implications.
"The guidelines say that the component is accepted if you intend to cool the tires and do not intend to generate downforce. The decision, therefore, delved further into this point, on the precise words contained in the regulation. Obviously, also regarding a very important fact, namely that the technical director had already approved it, so a different decision could have rejected what was already done. Everything plays on the fact that the approval was based on the intention to cool the tire and not to exploit the downforce."
Perhaps the engineers in MotoGP are opening up areas that are too advanced for the current technical structure of the championship?
"Let's say that here, from an organizational aspect, we are prepared to discuss all issues that relate to sports. The behavior of a rider on the track, certain episodes that can occur. The arrival of someone with a certain importance like Freddie Spencer in the role of steward manager also goes in this direction. We accepted the expert in a sportsmanship manner, a person capable of perfectly judging the behavior of the riders. From a technical point-of-view, perhaps no such figure exists, yet. I don't know if this is necessary or not, also because we don't protest at every race."
Maybe this episode will change something?
"Dorna and the Federation will have to reflect. This episode will also serve this purpose. Let's see if it and what will change."
SUZUKI VERY COMPETITIVE WITH THE MIXED, THE ENGINE HAS IMPROVED, BUT THAT'S NOT ENOUGH.
Changing topics. Suzuki's performance on the track with the 2019 version. Brivio explained the philosophy that led to the choice of a more powerful engine, but with a character that is very similar to the previous one. A balanced decision for the technicians in Hamamatsu.
"We were able to do a good job. We didn't want to change the characteristics of the engine, but we still manage to gain speed and maximum power, and I think we succeeded. Obviously, compared to the fastest bikes, we still have a gap, but we have improved our performance a lot under this aspect. The problem is that the others have improved a lot, too. At this moment, from this point-of-view, Honda and Ducati are stronger than all the others, and we are in pursuit. But we're happy because our package has excellent characteristics in other areas."
It's true that, in Qatar, absolute power is decisive. Things could change a great deal on other tracks.
"In Qatar, we suffered on the straight, but we were very competitive on the rest of the track, and this makes us optimistic for the future. There will be tracks where we'll suffer less on the straight, and maybe we’ll better exploit our advantages on the rest of the track."
Alex proved himself well. Now he's part of the small group of the best on the track.
"Alex has improved a lot. He grew in the last races of 2018, when he was always racing with the best. Our goal was to start from there, and I'd say we reached it. We always want to race in the front group, then sometimes end up on the podium, other times, sixth. A lot depends on how the last laps go, how the sprint is prepared. But what we want is to always be with the best."
Mir also made a strong debut, more in the race than in practice.
"Both Alex and Joan are riders who give their best in the race as compared to the tests, and that's good. Better this than the contrary. Joan is a rider who stands out more in the race. As the laps pass, he acquires a pace, speed. It could be his style."
The return to a victory seems close.
"I don't know, we're almost there! We need to be as close as possible to those in front of us because only then can we learn from them and maybe even understand their weaknesses. Then, if during the season the occasion occurs, we'll have to be good at taking advantage of this."