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Team Suzuki Ecstar Makes Steps Forward at Misano

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Team Suzuki Press Office – September 11. – The opening day at the Misano MotoGP today proved harder for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR than they expected as both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales struggled to find effective settings with their GSX-RRs and finished just outside the top-10, but the team is now looking to build-on this new data ready for tomorrow.

The new Misano track surface proved very different compared to the track conditions the team experienced when testing at the circuit in July; and this brought to the light problems with the GSX-RRs’ traction that made things a little unpredictable for both riders.

Espargaro worked hard to find a good and effective set-up for corner exit, trying different solutions with geometry set-ups and electronics to find optimum traction. Unfortunately his performance was not as good as he expected and he ended the day in 12th place with a best lap of 1’33.840.

Viñales, on his side, was more focused on his race-pace, but struggled to find stability in cornering. His crew will now analyse the data and find a different way for his set-up for the rest of the weekend after he posted 14th place with a best lap of 1’34.215.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“This day has been harder than expected for us. We believed that having tested here we would have already had a good base to start from, but actually both riders struggled to find confidence. To tell the truth, they both made improvements from the morning session to the afternoon, but they weren’t as effective as we expected. With Aleix, we are not so bad; we found a good set-up and gained a good feeling, but we are paying for this in acceleration and engine-performance where we still lack a little, so we hope to receive some updates soon. Maverick is working on his feeling with the bike, we are trying to find a good set-up, we still have some work to do; and we’ll try to make things better tomorrow.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“Today is not as good as I expected: This track is one of the few where we use first-gear three times with stop-and-go corners and this puts us in a little bit of trouble. In the last races, with long straights, I thought we lacked in speed but it was not so bad and here I’m suffering a lot in acceleration instead. In the afternoon we did improve, I feel more comfortable now to brake hard and the pace is not bad – less than one second from the top – but we still need to work hard. The weather since the test is very different, the track seems different, we started from the set-up we had in the test, but we need to adapt it to the different temperatures I think.”

Maverick Viñales:

“Unfortunately it is not the start we were expecting. In the test the bike was working very well, while now I can’t find the same feeling. We still have a lot of work to do, the bike slides a lot, I don’t have grip on the rear as much as before and there’s a lot of spin. I can’t understand why the bike is behaving so differently: I was so enthusiastic following the test, while now it feels like a different bike. Maybe the track is different also because the temperatures are much lower, but we definitely need to work further to improve.”

GP of San Marino – Classification after Day 1:

1. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’32.871
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’32.924 +0.053
3. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’33.258 +0.387
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’33.291 +0.420
5. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’33.469 +0.598
6. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’33.552 +0.681
7. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing – 1’33.553 +0.682
8. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’33.595 +0.724
9. Michele PIRRO, Ducati Team – 1’33.674 +0.803
10. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’33.785 +0.914
11. Scott REDDING, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’33.808 +0.937
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’33.840 +0.969
13. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1’34.132 +1.261
14. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’34.215 +1.344