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Team Suzuki Ecstar Leads the Way in Argentina

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Team Suzuki Press Office – April 17th. It has been a positive day for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR as the race weekend starts at Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in Argentina. Suzuki rider Aleix Espargaro topped both the free practice sessions, exploiting the handling capabilities of his GSX-RR machine on a track that still promises some faster times. The Spaniard ran two very positive sessions, always being at the top of the timesheets and finally scoring a 1’40.806 in the morning and 1’38.776 in the afternoon, half-a-second quicker than the next best rider.

Maverick Viñales also made a positive debut on the Suzuki, being consistently in the top 10 in both sessions and finally scoring a best lap of 1’40.126, which gives him the provisional 11th position in the classification. He is still working to learn the lines around the track and how to exploit the soft tyre at its best.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Even if it is only the first day, being at the top is a positive feeling and we are now enjoying it. Aleix did a very good job with his provisional pole position and also Maverick had a positive day, yet the machines look to be performing well. The track is not at its best and with these conditions we can exploit the good chassis we have and our experience in making the set-up better. For tomorrow I expect that all our competitors will drop their lap times a lot so we will try to stay as high up as possible in the classification, finalising the best set-up and also evaluating how the tyres drop off as this will give us a good preparation for the race. This circuit is very stressful on tyre compounds so a good choice in tyres could be crucial.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“As I said before coming here, I like this track a lot and I think it is suitable for our machine. Last year I had a good performance but this year is going even better; early this morning I got back my feeling and could push hard from the very beginning. Even if the track conditions are still slippery, the handling capabilities of my GSX-RR gave me much confidence: only in one corner do we still have chattering problems but we can be very effective in all the rest of the circuit. For sure tomorrow the times will drop significantly therefore we still have a lot to do, but I’m very happy about how the bike reacts and the feelings that I have from it.”

Maverick Viñales:

“My lap times today have been good, well into the top-10 or very close, and it is good to be competitive at the start. For sure it is only the first day and we still need to work. I feel there is a lot of room for improvement since I have to understand which ones are the most efficient lines around this track and also I definitely need to understand how to exploit my soft tyre. At the moment we need to focus on this, but tomorrow we will also have to decide which tyre to use for the race so we still have a lot to do.”

Grand Prix of Argentina – Classification after FP2:

1. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’38.776
2. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1’39.311 +0.535
3. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’39.336 +0.560
4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda – 1’39.403 +0.627
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’39.434 +0.658
6. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’39.463 +0.687
7. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’39.648 +0.872
8. Scott REDDING, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’39.892 +1.116
9. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’39.947 +1.171
10. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Pramac Racing – 1’40.088 +1.312
11. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’40.126 +1.350