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Suzuki in Search of More Power, Bridgestone Debuts Extra Hard Tire in the Argentinian MotoGP Round

Suzuki had a decent season start, with the two riders, Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales finishing the second race of the 2015 championship in top ten, 8th and 9th, respectively. This is a noticeable improvement from the 11th and 14th positions in Qatar, but still a long shot from being able to battle the top factories.
maverick Vinales, Davide Brivio and Aleix Espargaro 1 photo
Unlike Aprilia and Ducati, who are building new bikes using elements from the previous models, Suzuki is doing this from scrap. They abandoned the V engines in favor of the in-line four architecture, so they start off from pretty much nothing.Reliability first, then speed and top-end power
Davide Brivio, the mastermind of Suzuki's MotoGP efforts, knows that the road to competitiveness is very long and hard. However, the early tests of the GSX-RR race bike were put to an early end by reliability issues. Randy de Puniet, Suzuki's test rider had to retire with a mechanical failure last autumn, causing Suzuki to spend the next three months working on making the engine a reliable power unit that will last the whole race.

The low-end power and reliability boxes on Suzuki's to-do list seem to have been ticked, but Brivio says he simply needs more enigne speed and power. Long straights, such as the one at COTA are killing Suzuki.

Apparently Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales lost 0.4 seconds there alone and Suzuki is trying to fix that. Hamamatsu is already working on a seamless transmission and a new version of the engine. Optimistic opinions see Suzuki able to test the new power plant at the post-race test in Catalunya, but the seamless gearbox is most likely going to be delivered later in the season.

Anyway, seeing how Suzuki performs in Argentina will be very interesting, and a good indicator of the direction Davide Brivio must be heading to.Bridgestone debuts the new, extra-hard compound at Termas de Rio Hondo
Back in March we reported on Bridgestone's two new tire compounds added to the MotoGP grid, and the Argentinian round this Sunday will see the debut of one. Bridgestone delivered the asymmetric front, marked by a light blue stripe and the extra-hard one, recognizable thanks to a yellow stripe.

The race at Termas de Rio Hondo will see the first official track presence for the latter compound, as Bridgestone decided to offer it as a rear option for factory bikes, only. Teams will be able to choose between asymmetric medium and hard rears, with the extra-hard slick being offered as a symmetric option.

For front slicks, Bridgestone has soft, medium and hard tires, while the main wet tire is the soft option, with the hard one as an alternative. Honda and Yamaha can choose the hard or extra-hard rear tires while the Open bikes, plus Ducati, Suzuki and Aprilia have access to the hard and the medium ones.

The Argentinian track is very punishing for the tires, because of its relatively new surface and high-speed corners. Of the 9 right-handers and 5 left-handers, turns 6 and 11 are very fast, and they will cause much heat to build up in the left shoulders of the tires.

Bridgestone is very confident in their compound selection and doesn't expect to run in any sort of trouble.


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