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Ups and Downs for Team Suzuki Ecstar at Jerez


Team Suzuki Press Office – May 2nd Qualifying at the Circuito de Jerez saw both Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders suffer the ups and downs of motorcycle racing during today’s sessions while trying to improve their performance and fight for the best positions on the grid for tomorrow’s fourth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship.

Aleix Espargaro started the day with a very consistent pace, putting him towards the top of the time sheets, finally ending FP3 in fourth place with a best lap of 1m38.653s, more than six-tenths-of-a-second better than his best from yesterday. In Q2 he struggled a little finding the perfect set-up for his attack on a final grid position and this was made more difficult because of the hot weather that made the track very slippery. Qualifying ended for him with sixth place on the grid – and a second-row start – with a best lap in qualifying of 1m38.638s.

Maverick Viñales worked hard to finalise his GSX-RR’s set-up and to best-learn how to adapt his riding style to the Suzuki around the Jerez track. He was consistently in the top-10 for the whole morning’s session, even if this was not enough to give him direct access to Q2. His FP3 session ended with a 1m39.196s lap that gave him 11th place and only a 0.045s gap from 10th place. His attempt in Q1 was just enough to make the cut and he was scheduled for second place up until the second intermediate, but a mistake at the last corner took him out of the fight for the top-12. Eventually, his qualifying time was 1m39.603s which puts him in 14th place on the grid.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“I think after Argentina Aleix has been used to better results and maybe we were expecting something more from today in qualifying, but at the end of the day we must say that the conditions were very hard with a very hot track which effects grip and we still need to improve when it comes to the bike’s set up, not only for him but for both riders. Maybe both of them couldn’t exploit the qualifying session to its best. It’s a pity that Maverick couldn’t get into Q2 but we have to say that he has improved his approach to qualifying and he is getting better and better in using and managing the soft tyre. Looking to tomorrow, we know that Aleix will start quickly from the second-row, which is good, while Maverick will have a tougher race as he comes up from 14th. We still want to try little improvements on both their GSX-RRs to see if we can give them both even more confidence and performance.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“Of course sixth place was not my objective, as I expected a better position, but thinking about the race we are in a good place overall. The race will be tough because it is very hot and how it effects this bike is that it moves around a lot. It won’t be easy but we want to try as hard as we can. We still lack a final decision about the tyres for the race; today we tested both and the difference is not so evident, therefore we have to analyse the data and opt for the more-consistent tyre out of the overall choice.”

Maverick Viñales:

“I’m quite disappointed because I made a mistake at the last corner of my final lap in Q1 that prevented me entering Q2. It’s a pity because I was not far from the fastest rider and the lap-time was good overall. I think starting from 14th place will be hard but I’ll try to do as much as I can to recover. In FP4 we did some testing for overall consistent pace and we are pretty satisfied. Let’s see what happens.”

GP de España – Qualifying Classification:

1. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’37.910
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’38.300 +0.390
3. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1’38.468 +0.558
4. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’38.539 +0.629
5. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’38.632 +0.722
6. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’38.638 +0.728
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda – 1’38.714 +0.804
8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’38.823 +0.913
9. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Pramac Racing – 1’39.464 +.554
10. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’39.491 +1.581
11. Danilo PETRUCCI, Pramac Racing – 1’39.789 +1.879
12. Scott REDDING, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’39.825 +1.915
13. Hector BARBERA, Avintia Racing – 1’39.569 +0.319
14. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’39.603 +0.353

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