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Solid Improvements for Team Suzuki Ecstar in Germany


Team Suzuki Press Office – July 11. The second day in Germany for the ninth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship saw both Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders steadily improve their performances, with both competing in Q2 to battle for the top-12 positions on the grid.

At the end of the session Aleix Espargarò classified seventh with a 1’21.239s-lap and Maverick Viñales finished in 12th with a 1’21.796 lap-time.

In this morning’s FP3 session, Espargarò tried to improve the feeling with his GSX-RR that he missed yesterday, finally managing to be more-confident and scoring improved lap-times as a result. Despite the little crash he suffered – without injuries for the rider, which slowed down the crew’s job of making machine changes – he finally found the 1’21.689-lap that granted him direct access to a place in Q2. The work continued in FP4, with the definition of the set-up for overall race pace. In qualifying his feeling constantly improved and he could finally find a positive set-up to head the third-row of the grid.

Viñales, as well, did a positive job today improving his feeling with the GSX-RR compared to yesterday’s less-exact feeling. After FP3 he was only 0.034s from 10th place, preventing him direct access to Q2. He was therefore forced to have a good Q1, which he did, finally going into Q2 being one of the top-two finishers. However, in Q2, he struggled to find the confidence needed to be within the top riders and ended the session with the 12th time, which means the fourth row on tomorrow’s grid.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Despite what the final classification of qualifying says I believe that this has been another positive day for us. We made many improvements from yesterday and our work schedule proceeded smoothly. Aleix this morning entered Q2 directly after FP3, the crash he suffered complicated a little of our job but he immediately regained his confidence despite the pain and this is the most important thing. Maybe he could have done a little better but he is in seventh place and it’s not bad. Maverick as well entered Q2 at the end and we are proud to see both of our riders in the top qualifying session. They both worked well, thinking about the race, running many laps with worn tyres with a good pace overall.

“As we are new on this track we lack information and data and this time this has probably made the adaptation process harder and slower than in the other races. The riders suffered two different problems: for Maverick we need to find better traction while Aleix is not completely confident with the front-end, even if he has very good feeling in the high-speed corners and we don’t want to compromise this feeling. They are different riders and therefore have different riding styles. We will work hard to deliver them two machines that can assist them in the most efficient way and I think we have all the potential to stay in the group and to enjoy the fight tomorrow.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“I hoped for something better at this track because it is tight and we don’t need so much engine power as at other circuits, but we are struggling and I can’t be as competitive as I was at the other tracks. Here I lack in confidence with the front, preventing me making the machine turn as I want it to; especially in the slower part of the circuit. Our pace is not bad, we improved a lot since yesterday and also in FP4 I ran many laps with worn tyres and this satisfied me. In qualifying my one quick lap was not perfect, but I’m on the third row and I’ll try to make a good race.”

Maverick Viñales:

“I think we worked really well with used tyres and a full-tank to prepare for the race and my pace is good with this configuration. The problem in qualifying is that we struggle to find the best traction: I feel the rear is spinning a lot and I can’t deliver the power to the ground as I would like. In addition, I had a little slide when I was trying the fast lap and this prevented me from scoring a good time. Anyway we improved a lot both in the bike set-up and in my riding style, with some modification also to the lines I follow. I feel confident with the race configuration and I think that if tomorrow I can keep calm and focused, I can fight to stay in the middle-pack and aim for a good position at the end.”

GP of Germany – Qualifying classification:

1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’20.336
2. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’20.628 +0.292
3. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’20.921 +0.585
4. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1’21.029 +0.693
5. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Octo Pramac Racing – 1’21.115 +0.779
6. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’21.220 +0.884
7. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’21.239 +0.903
8. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’21.274 +0.938
9. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’21.329 +0.993
10. Cal CRUTCHLOW, CWM LCR Honda – 1’21.409 +1.073
11. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’21.503 +1.167
12. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’21.796 +1.460

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