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Suzuki Ecstar Strong in Assen Opening Day

Team Suzuki Ecstar_062416

Team Suzuki Press Office – June 24.  Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró both put in strong qualifying performances this afternoon at the Motul TT Assen ahead of Sunday’s eighth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship race in the Netherlands.

Both GSX-RR riders shaved significant time from their morning FP1 session with Viñales going fourth on the timesheets with a 1’33.892-lap and Espargaró eighth with a time of 1’34.087.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR deployed two different versions of the GSX-RR chassis today: Viñales had two machines available with the evolution chassis, the one already tested two weeks ago in Barcelona, while Espargaró had two bikes with the standard chassis. This choice was made after the test at the Catalan GP, where the team and riders went in hunt of better grip at the rear.

Today’s work also focused on some set-up adjustments for the track and mainly on electronics, which is already to be refined as today’s performance didn’t leave the riders convinced they could both take the best out of their machines.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“This track is one of those where we could do good, both riders already managed to stay in the top-10 and it’s a good start. Tomorrow, we will still have much work to do to finalise some set-up options, verify which tyre is the best one; and also in the electronics. We exploited today’s dry day, we hope tomorrow will be the same, but the weather in Holland is pretty unpredictable. It is important to already be in the virtual Q2. Our machine has performed well also last year at this circuit, we have improved it further, so we hope for a positive weekend.”

Maverick Viñales:

“We have much work to do here, I like this track and the bike has improved a lot since last year, but we still need to work on the electronics. After the test in Barcelona, I decided to adopt the evolution chassis, which is not that different from the standard one, but it has that little bit more that I think could help me to turn better. Today we did many improvements, but we still need to improve the electronics. The base is optimal, as well as the set-up, but I still have some trouble when it comes to exiting corners and find the best acceleration. Of course being in fourth with this kind of issue is not a bad thing; therefore, we will work more tonight to find new solutions and hopefully tomorrow we will be more effective.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“I’m not happy about the position but for sure I am satisfied with the work we have done. It’s true that I’m eighth but we must consider that the gap is not so big as I’m only three tenths-of-a-second from the third place. I made a big improvement from FP1 to FP2 and this says we are working in the right direction. We are working a lot in preparation for the race, because here it will be a pack-race and therefore it is important to find consistency and stability. With the choice of the standard chassis the set-up options are more-or-less already defined, but we have much room for improvement with the electronics. We are working hard, we have some ideas in mind; and we will try to be faster tomorrow.”

Motul TT Assen FP2 Results:

1 Andrea IANNONE – Ducati Team – 1’33.591
2 Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’33.595
3 Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’33.724 + 0.133
4 Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’33.892 + 0.301
5 Jorge LORENZO – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’33.991 + 0.400
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1’34.011 + 0.420
7 Danilo PETRUCCI – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 1’34.065 + 0.474
8 Aleix ESPARGARO – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’34.087 + 0.496
9 Pol ESPARGARO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’34.163 + 0.572
10 Scott REDDING – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 1’34.172 + 0.581