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Tough But Positive Day at Le Mans for Team Suzuki Ecstar


Team Suzuki Press Office – May 16th The second day in Le Mans was a hard one for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and its riders as they prepare for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix.

In the morning’s session Aleix Espargaro suffered a heavy crash while he was testing his extra-soft tyre, resulting in a high-side that required an immediate medical check. Luckily he hadn’t suffered any major injuries, but the crash did give him a lot of pain in his lower back and his right hand. His will to race still saw him take to the track for FP4 and qualifying, finally entering Q2 and gaining 10th place on the grid for tomorrow thanks to his 1’33.665s lap.

Maverick Viñales did a good job during the whole day, getting closer and closer to the top-10. After FP3 he missed direct access to Q2 by only 0.027s. In Q1 he pushed hard to enter the fight for the top 12 positions, but he finally finished Q1 in third place which gave him 13th place on tomorrow’s grid, with the time of 1’34.245.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“The day has been hard for several reasons, in part for the cold and difficult weather conditions, but mainly because Aleix had a bad crash in the morning. I would say that in the afternoon he has been really incredible to do the job he’s done, because he suffered a lot of pain and it was very hard to get back riding again just a few hours after such a big impact. Not only did he get back in the saddle but he has also done such an amazing job for us by entering the top-10 for tomorrow’s race. I want to thank him and we must recognise he did a very courageous thing. Aleix’s crash is a pity also because he was feeling good, he had a good pace and I hope that tomorrow he will be able to find this feeling again, while dealing with the pain as best he can. Maverick has been very close to Q2: we are always very close, this is a pity from one side because we still miss something I think, but it is also positive from another side because I strongly believe we will soon make a little step forward that will let us be in the better positions. Tomorrow he will start from 13th place therefore the important thing will be to finalise a good set-up for the race that can make him comfortable enough to recover some positions.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“I think we’ve been very lucky today. The crash was very hard and I was lucky I didn’t have any major injuries. I still feel painful and I probably have some issues with a ligament in my hand, but I’m eager to race because – strange to say – I feel very good with the bike. Although this is not one of my best tracks I must say that our set-up is very effective, probably one of the best we’ve ever had so far. Of course the crash prevented me to fight for a better position, but in my opinion we can make a good race. In the middle of Q2 I decided to stop because we had to preserve the hard tyres, which are the ones with which I felt better and we will use in the race and also to let the hand recover faster: to gain one or two places in qualifying wasn’t as important as to concentrate on the race ahead of us tomorrow.”

Maverick Viñales:

“The weather was strange, with difficult conditions, and for us I’m not totally satisfied. I know we can do much, much better, but we are still a young team – I’m a rookie – and we still have room for improvement in better understanding how to exploit the practice: maybe by making the fast lap attack earlier. But for tomorrow I feel confident because I have a good pace. I like the track and I know I can perform better, especially in fighting for positions during the race.”

Qualifying classification of the Grand Rix de France:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’32.246
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’32.749 +0.503
3. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’32.846 +0.600
4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda – 1’32.897 +0.651
5. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1’33.001 +0.755
6. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’33.299 +1.053
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’33.352 +1.106
8. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’33.419 +1.173
9. Danilo PETRUCCI, Pramac Racing – 1’33.556 +1.310
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’33.665 +1.419
11. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Pramac Racing – 1’33.714 +1.468
12. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’33.724 +1.478
13. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’34.245 +0.322

One Comment

  1. Merta says:

    Bravo for Suzuki, never say to leave moto GP again

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