In Japan, there is an old saying: "A defeated general never speaks about their deployment," because once they lost the war, everything they say sounds like excuses. Meanwhile, there is another Japanese saying, “know yourself as well as your enemy, then you will win a hundred battles.” In 2020, Joan Mir won the MotoGP championship. It was the first glory for Suzuki in two decades. Suzuki also won the team championship. Then, for the 2021 season, Mir finished in third place in the championship, and his teammate Alex Rins ended the season in thirteenth place. Suzuki was third for the team and constructors championship.
On the Valencia GP weekend, we visited Suzuki hospitality to hear about their review of the 2021 season and the plan for 2022 from their team leader/development manager, Shinichi Sahara. Obviously, Sahara-san had a lot to talk about.
Q: First of all, we would like to know why Joan Mil and Team SUZUKI ECSTAR could not win the championship this season.
Shinichi Sahara: Our perspective for this season was to be a challenger for the championship as we were in the past, rather than a champion defending the title. We did our best, but the simple fact was that our package was not strong enough to win the championship. Yamaha and Fabio Quartararo had a better and more competitive package than ours.
Q: What was the weakness in your package?