Davide Brivio admitted the Qatar test was “not brilliant” for Suzuki as Iannone regularly encountered issues with the GSX-RR's front end. A crash on each of the three days was a consequence, while team-mate Alex Rins also fell once.
He was, however, pleased to see Iannone, 13th fastest at the close of testing, assessing the issues at hand honestly. The Italian had spoken earnestly during the test of his need to adapt his braking style to fall in line with the GSX-RR's characteristics.
On the other hand, Brivio feels a setting must be found that will aid his rider's plight along the way. “He will try to work on his style. We will both try to find a good solution, a good compromise,” he told Crash.net.
“It's good. I'm happy that Andrea is analysing the situation very honestly, very carefully and that's also the way to fix the problem.
“Overall, we had a very good start [to the preseason] with Andrea. A bad start with Alex, because he had a crash in Valencia. Andrea felt good with the bike. He likes the bike. He likes the chassis.
“The balance is positive but now we still have some latest details to fix to make him 100 percent comfortable on the bike. So he's not yet pushing at his best because he's not yet 100 percent comfortable. Still we have some work to do. So let's see.”
Brivio had been speaking before the final evening of testing under the floodlights, a session in which Iannone made a late, radical set-up change.
As a result, he finally re-found some of that feeling with the front end that had been lacking the days before. He quickly improved his best time of the day, and pieced together a fast run of laps.
“Always we struggle with the front because always every, from the first day and the first exit, I lose the front. But I think we, at the last two exits, we improve a lot this situation. We try an extreme setting and the situation improve a lot.
“My feeling improve and I believe a little bit more because before I was very worried. I was losing the front at every corner and I crashed without pushing. Everything was impossible for me. But the situation improve.
“At the end, [we tried] a very extreme set-up. We improve I think a lot. my feeling improve a lot. My performance and also the speed improve. It's the first time I ride three laps in a row in the 55s. The worst was a 55.5s and the best a 55.2. This for us is very good. It is the first time. From now we start to work.”
On the other side of the garage, Brivio feels Rins – 15th fastest in Qatar – has made impressive progress at the three tests in 2017.
“Alex we have to say we're very happy with this winter," he said. "After the problem in November he came back only in 2017 in Sepang with a physical condition that was not yet 100 percent.
“He had two months stopped. Then he started very late the training, the preparation. But we can see that every testing he's improving. He's listening, learning, improving and I feel we're doing a good step.
“We can see good potential. We can see also from the data he's doing the right thing on a bike, he's doing well. We're happy and also quite confident that when we're able to put everything together – of course he's inexperienced, he's learning. The more he learns the more he'll perform well.
“Let's say the base is good. He rides well. He does the right thing on the bike. Everything just needs to fit together. But we're very happy with his development.”