'Friction reduction' are two of the words an engineer most likes to hear when talking about high performance racing engines. Less friction means less heat, less wear and superior performance and this is one of the key technical areas the Rizla Suzuki Team knows it can completely rely on when approaching any race weekend in the highly competitive MotoGP Championship.
As Official Lubricants Partner to the Suzuki Factory, a technical partnership which is now in its 23rd year, Motul is ideally placed to offer the famous World Championship-winning team the range and quality of lubricants needed for this fast-moving arena. Motul is a global company with representation in over 80 countries, including all those visited by MotoGP. European leader in the field of motorcycle lubricants and lubrication, Motul is also the number one in many other countries in each Continent. As far as we can remember, Motul has always been part of the world's premier motorcycle racing World Championship.
Top class riders such as Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr. have won World Championships with Suzuki and Motul and the benefits of such a long and successful relationship are manifold for all involved. Motul has been able to work with Suzuki's engineers step-by-step to improve the technology and performance of lubricants in tandem with the evolution of motorcycle technology over the last two decades or more.
Monsieur Francois Dol, Director of Automotive Products for Motul, explains why his company's relationship with Suzuki is so important. "As well as the long and successful relationship we've enjoyed with Team Suzuki in MotoGP, we are also partners with them in World Superbikes, Motocross, the Endurance World Championship and two high profile national championships. We know there can be absolutely no compromises at that level of competition and we're very proud that Suzuki has shown its faith in us by using so many of our products at the highest levels for such a long lasting period.
"Our Motul engineers have straight-line communication with Suzuki's engineers and, because of this, we can listen, develop and quickly respond within the time constraints that motor sport often presents. MotoGP is a vital test bench and a living laboratory for our motorcycle products and we have benefited from our involvement by developing highly specialised, experimental oils to deal with the temperature extremes associated with the high performance engines used in this sport."
The viscosity of Motul's lubricants is an area under constant development from season to season, with the objective being a move towards more fluid grades to enhance performance and reduce consumption, while at the same time maintaining reliability.
With the move next year towards 1000cc machines, Motul's engineers and their Suzuki counterparts have started to work on new projects to ensure that the Rizla Suzuki team have exactly the right products available from the outset. MotoGP provides the challenge of real-time research and development for Motul's products and the testing they undergo is rigorous; prototype machines operate at 18,000 revs per minute/ 250 bhp!
One of the idiosyncrasies of MotoGP regulations is that the machines are able to use different oils for the engine and gearbox/ clutch - something not found in other disciplines. This fact has allowed Motul to develop two specific products to deal with these very different demands. The fact that the engine oil is used exclusively for the engine allows Motul to develop very specialised and individual products which are capable of delivering maximal engine power.
Monsieur Dol explains just how Motul benefits from its involvement with the Rizla Suzuki team. "We know that what we learn on the track today is directly transferable to the products available for use on the road tomorrow. Lubricant products such as the 300V have come about as a direct result of our involvement in MotoGP. Additionally, the Rizla Suzuki team uses the same Motul care products available in the MC Care range and on the market today, as well as Factory Line products which are specifically for competition."
Another area of motorsport used by Motul for extensive research and development is endurance racing and events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Teams and their technical partner Motul work hand in hand to 'win today and sell tomorrow' by challenging their machinery and technology in extreme conditions and at the limit of tolerances. Those same challenges are faced and met each time a Rizla Suzuki Team rider takes to the track...in the pursuit of excellence.