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Steady Start for Espargaro and Viñales in Brno

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Team Suzuki Press Office – August 14. The first day of work at the Brno circuit saw Team SUZUKI ECSTAR return to its usual blue and yellow livery and both Aleix Espargarò and Maverick Viñales worked hard on the set-up of their machines and find much-needed confidence to improve their times.

Both riders also improved their lap-times from the morning to the afternoon session while not all the top riders could as the track got very slippery thanks to the rising temperatures of around 50°. The combined classification sees Espargarò in ninth place with 1’57.202 and Viñales in 13th with 1’57.607.

The main objective for Espargaro was to get a good feeling, which is why he tried different set-up options and tyre combinations which yielded a positive result in terms of overall performance with the bike. His attempt to get closer to the top is not yet complete, but both the rider and his crew have positive results to work on.

Viñales, on his side, continued the approach that proved to be effective in Indianapolis, focusing his efforts in finding a confident set-up for the race and use it as a starting point to get a base for a fast qualifying set-up. For this reason he ran the whole morning session with only one set of tyres (hard), finally riding for 14 laps. The afternoon saw him continue the work with the hard tyre. In fact it gave positive feelings to the rider that will be useful for tomorrow’s qualifying, even though he spent most time on the hard tyres.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It’s been a positive day, the riders could find their feeling back with the bikes and we could finalise more positive work on our machines. We dedicated our efforts to finalising the set-up of the bikes, evaluating different options in set-up, electronics, and gear transmission ratio, and the efforts paid off. Aleix did suffer a little more, but finally found a good pace and also make good steps forward for the fast lap. Maverick kept on with his work in preparation of the race, focusing on pace consistency and he also found good set-up options. For sure we need to work harder and harder to be even more competitive, especially in the qualifying ‘time attack’ and the track is not easy to ride on at all due to the high temperatures that make the Tarmac very slippery; but today we got some positive results and I think we can make a good job tomorrow.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“It’s been a positive day, I am happy that we are getting over the bad weekend that we had in Indy and now I feel confident again in my GSX-RR. Here the tyres are a little different and we found a proper way to make my bike more effective. The track is very slippery, it is hard to keep on the right lines, but my feeling has improved a lot. We still have much work to do, but my performance has improved so much from morning to afternoon but this is not enough. We can be closer to the top and I want to be there. We can do better both in pace and over the single lap; therefore tomorrow we will focus to finalise the set-up and electronics to best-suit up my needs.”

Maverick Viñales:

“We continued with the idea of preparing for the race day instead of attempting immediately the quickest lap-time and once again I feel very comfortable with this decision. Today’s work gave positive results, in the morning I ran only one set of tyres which resulted in a good performance that eventually improved again in the afternoon. My pace is good and I could score some good times also with worn tyres. Here the heat is a big problem: the Tarmac gets very hot and tyre performances drops very quickly, therefore we need to work on finding a good balance between the single lap and the consistency of our performance. The track is not easy for us but when I was with worn tyres I could be in the top-10, and now we miss only the ‘crazy lap’ to enter Q2 and then get a good place on the grid, but for today I am satisfied enough.”

GP of Czech Republic – Combined classification after FP2: 1. J. LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’56.4992. M. MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’56.513 +0.014 3. A. IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1’56.750 +0.2514. D. PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’56.784 +0.285 5. A. DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’56.821 +0.322 6. V. ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’57.038 +0.539 7. P. ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’57.078 +0.579 8. B. SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’57.137 +0.638 9. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’57.202 +0.703 10. C. CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda – 1’57.229 +0.730 11. Y. HERNANDEZ, Octo Pramac Racing – 1’57.544 +1.045 12. D. PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing – 1’57.575 +1.076. 13. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’57.607 +1.108.