Team Suzuki Ecstar has unveiled its final 2019 GSX-RR livery ahead of the first test of 2019 in Malaysia. Álex Rins returns to action for the squad alongside premier-class rookie Joan Mir.

The livery of the GSX-RR is largely the same as last year, with the team’s major sponsors remaining in play. A few additional accents of color are used as is a more angular-looking front fairing aimed to improve downdraft on the front end. Suzuki has worked through the off-season to improve the bike’s performance into and out of corners, as well as seeking ways to enhance power without losing traction.

2019 Suzuki GSX-RR front fairing
A revised front fairing should help stabilize the machine into and out of corners in 2019.Suzuki Racing

Inside, however, things have changed somewhat more dramatically. Ken Kawauchi, the team’s technical manager, explains:

“We have developed a new spec engine, a new spec chassis, and we’ve made some improvements in the electronics and also in the fairing. This is in line with Suzuki’s philosophy—which is not to destroy and rebuild from nothing, but to continue to grow step by step on what we have already achieved.”

Suzuki GSX-RR exhaust and tail light
Left: A beautiful exhaust from Akrapovic.
Right: Safety first! All MotoGP machines must have a functioning red rear light for use in rain or low-visibility situations.
Suzuki Racing

Rins is the veteran of the team this year, returning for his third season with Suzuki. His debut in 2017 was marred by an accident at Circuit of The Americas that left him sidelined for five races. He had a much better go of it in 2018, taking five podiums and finishing fifth overall at the end of the season.

Álex Rins
Álex Rins returns for his third season with Team Suzuki Ecstar.Suzuki Racing

“This winter break has felt so long and I can’t wait to be back riding again,” Rins said. “After the last test in November I left clear feedback for the engineers to work on, as far as I know the improvements we will try in Sepang will not be drastic but many small improvements in many areas, which is totally the Suzuki philosophy. We know what we were missing on the bike, so I believe the R&D in Japan will deliver a package which will help us to improve further.”

Joan Mir with GSX-RR
Joan Mir makes his debut in the premier class in 2019.Suzuki Racing

Mir rounds out the all-Spanish team in 2019, moving up from Moto2 for his rookie season in the premier class. Last year he snagged four podiums and finished the series sixth overall.

2019 Suzuki GSX-RR
Left: Will Suzuki find the power, traction, and cornering it needs to compete for wins in 2019?
Right: That's one sharp-looking bike.
Suzuki Racing

“This winter has been very long without riding but I focused on my physical training, which has given positive results so far,” Mir explained. “Of course I still need many more hours on the bike, there are so many things I still need to understand to be even more effective, but I feel very supported by the team and I will rely on their wealth of experience to improve, and also to contribute my own improvements to my bike. It will be a whole package, me and the bike, that will hopefully develop step by step. I don’t have any pressure, but for sure my clear objective will be to end the season with a smaller gap to the winner when compared to the first race.”