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Top 12 for Team Suzuki Ecstar in COTA Qualifying

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Team Suzuki Press Office – April 11th Some positive improvements have been made by Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders today at the Grand Prix of The Americas at Austin, Texas, where both riders got into the top 12 positions and both took part in the final Q2 session that defined the grid for tomorrow’s race.

The morning session saw Aleix Espargaro well-up on the timing sheets for almost all of the 45-minute session. He was also the first rider to get under the 2’04s bracket, ending with a best of 2’03.790s which got him access to Q2. The qualifying session saw all the riders being very fast and the young Spaniard kept his rhythm lowering his times lap-after-lap. At the end of qualifying, the timesheets showed his best lap a 2’02.869s effort, which gives him eighth position on the grid.

Maverick Viñales made some positive efforts during FP3; constantly improving his performance but that was not enough to have direct access to the Q2 session. During the afternoon’s Q1 session, the MotoGP rookie did find an effective set-up that let him make a 2’03.878s lap-time that finally got him into Q2. His improvements continued steadily and he scored a positive 2’03.754s lap, which unfortunately was not enough to improve his position on the grid so he starts in 12th position overall.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“First of all we are happy to have brought both riders into Q2 eventually. Also Maverick has made constant improvements throughout the weekend and this is really important. Aleix has been consistent and very effective during all the sessions. Maybe only at the end he missed something that could have resulted in an even better position. However all their performances have been excellent so far. Considering the race tomorrow, we still have to improve both riders’ machines in order to put them in an even better condition come the start of the race. Also, for the future, we are making notes about everything that we still have to improve. We are happy with today but for tomorrow we will try to be as consistent as possible with our race pace.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“The final position doesn’t satisfy me, but it’s better than Qatar and it is important to constantly improve. Also for tomorrow’s race we will need to increase our performance and do better than we did in Qatar. Being eighth is not the position we want, but the times have been very fast and we have been very close to last year’s pole position. This means that all competitors are going much faster than in 2014. We improved a little on the chatter problem we had at the rear-end, but we couldn’t solve it completely; however the bike is very positive in its handling and I feel so confident with it that I’m happy. We made great progression – especially in our electronics and the result is that we are very close to the first-row times. My pace with the hard tyre is not so bad, I’ve always been in the top eight positions, so I believe we can fight to be close to the top six finishers. ”

Maverick Viñales:

“It’s been a positive day. We managed to get into Qualifying 2 and we are happy with this, but finally I couldn’t make a really quick lap to get a better place on the grid. I tried to make the quick ‘time attack’ with a soft tyre, but I still lack experience so I couldn’t exploit this to its best. We still need to work to get ready for the race. My pace is pretty good but we can still improve further. For sure we need to find a solid performance and do better than we did in the last race in order to constantly progress my performance.”

Grand Prix of The Americas – Qualifying classification:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 2’02.135
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 2’02.474 +0.339
3. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2’02.540 +0.405
4. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2’02.573 +0.438
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda – 2’02.613 +0.478
6. Scott REDDING, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2’02.674 +0.539
7. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 2’02.792 +0.657
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2’02.869 +0.734
9. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2’03.161 +1.026
10. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2’03.440 +1.305
11. Danilo PETRUCCI, Pramac Racing – 2’03.741 +1.606
12. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2’03.754 +1.619