Suzuki Ecstar Italian rider Andrea Iannone powers his bike during the qualifying session of the Malaysia MotoGP at the Sepang International circuit in Sepang on October 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)

While other riders started their post 2017 season test at the Valencia circuit on Tuesday, the Suzuki Ectstar team had no other choice than to wait for Wednesday before they took to the track with both riders and several team members hit with a gastrointestinal virus that forced them to stay in bed on Tuesday to recuperate.

Thankfully they were felling better on Wednesday and as such were able to kick off the 2018 season with the first laps of testing.

Because many of the improvements developed by Suzuki are important steps forward which need to be tested as soon as possible to determine the development path, both riders were eager to get back on the GSX-RRs.

They both had an evolution chassis and an evolution engine, plus some other minor items.
As is customary for Suzuki, the 2018 GSX-RR will not be a groundbreaking new machine, but rather the result of many small improvements applied to the current base.

The work undertaken on Wednesday is just a small part of the scheduled program. The team and riders will be called to more intense work next week in the three-day test session planned for Jerez (from Wednesday to Friday).

“To be honest, this test was completely different from what we expected, since we completely missed yesterday due to the riders’ illness,” said Davide Brivio – Team Manager. “Even today we worked less than what was possible because both Andrea and Alex were still not at 100% and also felt weak. We only tried some of the main items, making choices by priority. We have a new chassis that is supposed to help the riders with the grip, and a new engine that is supposed to improve corner entry. “

‘For the amount they were able to test today, the feedback is positive. Although, we have to thoroughly double check and we still need to be prudent. Luckily we have already scheduled a three-day test for next week in Jerez, so we will be able to make up for some of this week´s missed program. The engine is the most urgent thing to analyse because its development and production requires time, but we are taking things step by step, trying different modifications, and then we will put everything together for the test in Sepang at the end of January.”