With the Grand Prix of Qatar just a few hours away, Last Lap continues with the 2021 team previews, this time we take a look at Suzuki.
Make sure to check out our other team previews too!
Reigning champions Suzuki return for their title defences this year without Davide Brivio. Last year’s Team Principal opted to swap two-wheels for four as he now heads up Alpine’s F1 program. While his departure will be felt, it shouldn’t be a destabilizing force.
There is continuity with the rider line-up. Defending world champion Joan Mir is comes in 2021 with a target on his back, however, there is also a significant target in front of him.
Mir can join the great Barry Sheene as a double world champion for Suzuki. That is a tantalizing prospect for any motorcycle rider. Therefore, motivation should be sky-high in Mir’s camp.
Furthermore, confidence should be high in his teammate Alex Rins’ half of the garage. Rins possesses all the talent to become a serial winner at the highest level. The three-time race-winner must find the spark that can light a championship challenge.
The Suzuki bike is a rider-friendly, fast bike, that will be competitive throughout the season. The teammate battle could get very exciting to watch in 2021 at the Japanese manufacturer.
Who would have thought Suzuki would come into 2021 as both the Riders’ and Teams’ Champions? The Japanese team stunned everyone last year when Joan Mir won the Title, having just won one race throughout the year.
There is no doubt confidence will be brewing at Suzuki, even with Team Manager Davide Brivio’s departure for pastures new at Alpine F1 Team, the squad will be keen on retaining both championships in 2021.
I believe they are in the position to do just that. Joan Mir will undoubtedly enter this year with an huge amount of motivation and confidence after winning his first MotoGP Title, and as long as Suzuki can carry their stunning performance into this season, that is most certainly a possibility.
On the other side of the garage is Mir’s fellow Spaniard in the form of Alex Rins. I think the 25-year-old will feel a little deflated given he was de-facto team leader until Mir won the World Championship, but that can only be used as motivation to push for results this year.
It’s not as if Rins struggled in 2020 either, the Spanish rider finished third in the Riders’ Standings with four podiums and one win to his name, it’s just the consistency that needs to be corrected to push for that top spot.
Suzuki are in a good place for 2021, as long as the squad can carry their 2020 form into this year, they will be in for a solid season.