Out of the 17 prototypes donning various colors on the MotoGP grid, the iconic blue on the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R is easiest to spot.
And for 2011, Rizla is hoping to make its 2011 machine/rider more contemporary, using revised Troy Lee Design-inspired livery that incorporates a "new, contemporary and dynamic Rizla logo."
Above are the first photos of the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R in its 2011 Livery. The MotoGP machine, which is the only one the team will field in 2011 with rider Alvaro Bautista, will make its official debut this weekend at the final pre-season MotoGP tests in Qatar this weekend.
This is the final GSV-R in the MotoGP 800cc generation, before the capacity grows to a (limited) 1000cc in 2012.
Rizla Suzuki is hoping for better finishes this year due to the technological advancements of the GSV-R, which features "an engine that has improved on its horsepower, driveability and durability through many detailed development changes throughout winter and pre-season testing. It also features improved acceleration characteristics – especially out of slower corners – to assist Bautista in his challenge for MotoGP glory."
Rizla Suzuki further explains the advancements on the GSV-R, saying: "To compliment the upgraded engine specifications, Suzuki’s Factory Engineers have also improved the chassis performance by significant developments to the stiffness balance of frame and swing-arm and have optimised the weight balance geometries from last season’s machine.
"These updates to the chassis have been paired with the most advanced ECU software ever used on a Suzuki Grand Prix machine, to give Bautista more precise traction and wheelie control without losing direct machine control or power, adding to the versatility of the GSV-R in all conditions."
In 2010 MotoGP, Alvaro Bautista joined the premier class with eight years of experience in World Championship competition, which included a 125cc title (2006).
During that first year on the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R, Bautista’s best top finish was fifth, a position he conquered at both Catalunya and Malaysia. The Spaniard ended his rookie year with 13th overall, and garnered much experience in MotoGP.
For 2011, new challenges await, but Bautista’s sophomore year as the sole Suzuki rider started well (his former teammate Loris Capirossi moving to the Pramac Ducati team).
Bautista’s first official outing for 2011 MotoGP was at Sepang in early February, where he finished 10th overall with a 2:01.687, ahead of some big players such as Valentino Rossi (Ducati Team). At the second Sepang test, he bettered his finish to eight overall. These results gave Bauitsta an optimistic view of the upcoming 2011 MotoGP season.