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Team Suzuki Ecstar Top-10 at Assen MotoGP


Team Suzuki Press Office – June 27.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Aleix Espargarò and Maverick Viñales raced to ninth and 10th places respectively in today’s eighth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the TT Circuit of Assen in The Netherlands.

Although the start to the weekend was not easy for both Spaniards, with some difficulties in finding a good set-up, yesterday’s qualifying proved positive with Espargarò in second and Viñales ninth. Today, both fought hard in the middle of the pack, struggled to find clean lines, but finally managed to gain a positive result that gives them points in the Championship as well as important feedback to the Team for future development.

Satoru Terada – Project Leader:

“This has been a pretty hard race for us, we got a very positive result in qualifying with Aleix in second place but we couldn’t turn this into a good result in the race. Assen is a very demanding circuit in terms of engine performance and we lack in acceleration. This prevented us from being competitive with the top riders and both Espargaro and Viñales had to struggle in the middle of the pack. Acceleration is our weak point at the moment and we will now be working hard to fill this gap. I hope that the next round at Sachsenring will be easier for us since it requires a lot of handling and cornering; which are the strong-points of our GSX-RR. We are constantly-developing the machine, we knew it would be a hard path, but we are keeping very positive for the future.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“This race was pretty frustrating, we still suffer in acceleration and this was a problem at such a tight circuit like Assen. At the very beginning I lost many positions and then I had to fight in the middle of the pack to be competitive. Braking and cornering is pretty easy with the good chassis we have, but when it comes to acceleration, everything gets harder and harder. I tried to push from the early laps, but then in the middle of the race I knew it was impossible to fight for the top and I concentrated on earning the points. For sure we can do better but it’s also true that this weekend was hard from the beginning; but we managed to get second place in qualifying and a positive race result so we must be proud of this. I hope in Sachsenring we will be able to show the big potential that we have.”

Maverick Viñales:

“Despite the result on the timesheets I think this was probably one of my best races so far. In Catalunya a lot of riders in front of me crashed, while here in Assen it was a real race. This circuit is stop-and-go, with big acceleration from first-to-sixth gear, and we know that we suffer when it comes to absolute power. The positive thing is that my pace was good and I got closer to the top riders when it comes to handling, braking and changes of direction. For sure we still need to improve the qualifying, to avoid always being in the middle pack: If I could make my own lines I’m sure I would get better results. We are still working on development but Sachsenring will be a more-friendly track for us so let’s hope for further improvements.”

TT of Assen – Final classification:

1. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 40’54.037
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – +1.242
3. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – +14.576
4. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – +19.109
5. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – +24.268
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda – +24.373
7. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – +24.442
8. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – +24.656
9. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +26.725
10. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +27.238

Riders World Championship (after TT of Assen):

1. Valentino ROSSI, Yamaha – 163
2. Jorge LORENZO, Yamaha – 153
3. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati – 107
4. Marc MARQUEZ, Honda – 89
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati – 87
6. Bradley SMITH, Yamaha – 77
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW, Honda – 57
8. Pol ESPARGARO, Yamaha – 56
9. Maverick VIÑALES, Suzuki – 52
10. Dani PEDROSA, Honda – 47
11. Danilo PETRUCCI, Ducati – 44
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Suzuki – 38

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