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Team Suzuki Ecstar on Le Mans MotoGP Third Row

Team Suzuki Ecstar_050716
Team Suzuki Press Office – May 7.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró will start tomorrow’s Le Mans MotoGP™ race in France from the third and fourth rows respectively following final qualifying this afternoon. The two Spaniards had some troubles today in finding a good feeling with their machines, which resulted in eighth and 12th position on the grid.

Viñales’ path to qualifying was a little easier, as he got the direct access to Q2 right after FP3. However, he struggled to find a good set-up with his GSX-RR and was not able to fight for better positions, as he has been able to lately. In all today’s sessions he tried his best to find a confident pace and also the effectiveness in time attack, but his technicians need some more time to find better solutions.

Espargaró on his side had to make some additional work to enter the fight for the top-12 positions on the grid, as he had to go through Q1. In this morning’s FP3 he suffered a crash at the last corner, generated by a bump in the track, and this took much time to recover the bike and preventing him the most efficiency in the time attack. With a wise management of tyres, he was successful in Q1 and finally got through to Q2.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“This qualifying has for sure been under expectations for us. Unfortunately, both riders struggled to find a good feeling with the machines and they couldn’t be as effective as we were used to. It’s a pity because after the tests in Jerez we were pretty confident we could have good solutions here, but it’s sure that we need more time to finalise better set-ups. We knew this track would be not easy for us, but maybe we weren’t expecting it to be this hard. However, we still have some solutions that could help the riders to find more efficacy, so we will work during the night to find some different set-ups that can be tested in warm up and hopefully be good for the race.”

Maverick Viñales:

“This has been a very hard qualifying; I’m not satisfied with the position but most of all I’m disappointed for the feeling I couldn’t find. Honestly it is something I can’t really explain; in Jerez we found very good solutions while here they don’t seem to be working. We still lack in the set-up, we’re not taking the 100% out of our machine and this is a pity. I spoke with my technicians and they already have some ideas, we will speak further tonight and hopefully they will find a good set-up for tomorrow morning. The race will be tough; we need to find some solutions otherwise it will be very hard to get a good result.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“We are suffering a lot and honestly we weren’t expecting this. Unfortunately, this morning I had a crash, it was totally my mistake and this took us away some precious time, I had to go through Q1 and finally got a fourth row. This makes the race very hard. The good thing is that even if we are not performing on the single lap we made important improvements on the pace; if I manage to make a good start I think we can have some chances to recover and finally get a good position.”

GP of France Qualifying:

1 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’31.975
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’32.416 + 0.441
3 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team 1’32.469 + 0.494
4 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’32.502 + 0.527
5 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’32.587 +0.612
6 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3.820 + 0.845
7 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’32.829 + 0.854
8 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’32.933 + 0.958
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda 1’32.963 + 0.988
10 Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Yakhnich 1’33.102 + 1.127
11 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’33.109 + 1.134
12 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’33.115 + 1.140