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Espargaro and Viñales Ready for Le Mans


Team Suzuki Press Office – May 12th  The French circuit of Le Mans is ready to welcome Team SUZUKI ECSTAR for the fifth round of the 2015 MotoGP™ season.

Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales will arrive in France in a positive mood, thanks to the steps forward that the Suzuki MotoGP™ project has made so far and the potential that the GSX-RR has shown. The last race in Jerez saw both riders consistently lapping close to the top riders in the class and yet more solid points were gained at the end of the race.

Although their feelings about their machines are pretty similar –very positive in terms of handling and looking for confirmation on electronics and traction improvements after the latest test – their expectations about the characteristics of the circuit of Le Mans are different: Aleix Espargaro feels more prudent about the coming event, while Maverick Viñales feels enthusiastic and confident.

Built in 1965 around the existing 24-Hour racetrack, the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit is a tight track dominated by first gear corners that place the emphasis on late braking, which is an aspect of the GSX-RR that was tested and improved last Monday in Jerez during the test day following the race. The track is 4.2 km long with an average width of 16 metres and with a 674 metre-long straight.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR takes to the track on Friday for the opening FP1 at 09:55hrs local time (08:55 GMT) with FP2 at 14:05hrs (13:05 GMT). Saturday’s all-important Qualifying starts at 14:10hrs (13:10 GMT) to determine grid positions for Sunday’s race, which gets underway at 14:00hrs (13:00 GMT) for a total of 28 laps.

Aleix Espargaro:

“I’m satisfied with the steps forward we have made in the last test in Jerez. We are looking for better traction which could let us better exploit the bike’s potential. The electronics have made many improvements and we also tested some chassis parts on the rear that allowed us to make better lap times. We have also worked on geometry and set-up which finally gave us better braking, which also allowed us to enter the corners quicker and exploit the strong points of our chassis, which will be crucial for Le Mans. Personally my feeling with the French track is not the best, I prefer fast corners and I struggle on tight circuits, but this is not worrying me too much as I know the handling of my GSX-RR is good and I’m confident I will find a good feeling with the bike pretty quickly.”

Maverick Viñales:

“To me going to Le Mans is a good thing, I like this circuit and I am confident I will find a good feeling pretty quickly. The circuit is tight with slow corners, which means you have to brake later and be as efficient as possible through the turns to have a good exit speed. The improvements we’ve made in the recent Jerez tests give me hope; the electronics and also the new set-up has proved to be effective both on lap-times and on improving my confidence in riding.”