Davide Brivio: Internal competition 'helped' Suzuki in 2018
Suzuki team boss Davide Brivio says the “internal competition” between Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone “helped” the Japanese marque to a successful 2018 MotoGP campaign.
Rins and Iannone scored nine podiums between them, making this Suzuki's largest haul for one season in the MotoGP era, and took the Hamamatsu marque to fourth in the manufacturers table with 233 points.
Both riders were split by just 36 points in the end, with Rins getting the upper hand in fifth in the standings against Iannone in 10th with five rostrum appearances.
Speaking in Valencia prior to the final race, Brivio says the battle between his riders to “balance the same results”, along with an improved GSX-RR, “helped” Suzuki this year.
He said: “Alex is growing up. Last year he was a rookie, this year is his second season, he learned, he is showing his talent.
“This is what we thought when we selected him. Then I will say the internal competition helped us, because Andrea and Alex started to beat each other, tried to balance the same results.
“So everything together: bike improvement, rider growing up, some internal competition and we're here.
“We have a very different balance to last year, we got eight podiums [Rins secured a ninth in the finale] four for each rider, so that's also very important.
“This makes us very happy, that both riders were able to fight for the podium. A couple podiums were a little bit of luck, but more or less all podiums were [achieved] in a good way, a good step.
“Most of the races we were able to be fighting for the top six, seventh positions. This was our target, so I will say so far we are in our scale.”
Brivio added he was “happy” about the improvements Suzuki made from last year, when it suffered due to selecting the wrong engine to seal in the pre-season, but is adamant the GSX-RR was “not so bad” despite this.
“Yeah, of course this year I am much more relaxed now than last year in the same press conference.
“We are very pleased and very happy about the improvements, we were able to change the situation from last year which was something... I mean, our bike was not so bad already in 2016.
“Of course Maverick [Vinales] got the win and the fourth position in the championship. But we always say we made a mistake in selecting the engine last season and unfortunately the regulations didn't allow us to recover from this mistake, this choice.
“And then we identified the problem during last year, but we couldn't do nothing. So we could only make the step [forward] in the current season.”