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Suzuki Ecstar Consistent at Indy 1st Day


Team Suzuki Press Office – August 8. Team SUZUKI ECSTAR got back on track today with the first two practice sessions of the GP of Indianapolis, which introduces the start of the second half of the season for both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales.

The two Suzuki riders were pretty consistent with their pace, while trying to find an efficient set-up to approach the race. The main job was focused on taking advantage of the important progress made at the Misano tests. The weather conditions are supposed to be consistent over the weekend, therefore in FP3 there will be some more time to focus on the quick-lap-attack to enter directly into Q2.

Espargaro struggled a little to find the best way to make his GSX-RR turn as he wanted, and with his team he tried many changes in his set-up to find consistency. In both sessions his lap-times settled between 10th and 15th position, but registered continuous improvements. At the end of the day his best lap time was 1’34.139 which sets him provisionally in 15th place.

Viñales on his side decided with his crew to change their strategy and to focus entirely on finding the most comfortable and consistent pace. He only used hard tyres and worked hard to improve his lap-times. but keeping a good rhythm. This, however, didn’t prevent him from popping into the top-10 occasionally in FP2 and he ended the day with 1’33.973, which leaves him in 13th place and 1.113s from the provisional leader.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“Today has brought mixed feelings. Aleix struggled to find a good connection with his bike and he couldn’t find the proper way to be effective in the tighter parts of the circuit. His crew worked hard and made many changes to the bike but we still need to work to put him in a better condition for the race. Maverick, on his side, did a different job, focusing more on the race-preparation and he made many changes in the set-up to consolidate his feeling with the bike and get more knowledge about his GSX-RR’s reactions. This new approach gave positive results in terms of consistency of pace.

“Tomorrow we will work on both approaches inside the garage; with Viñales to capitalise on pace and focus on a time-attack to make a good qualifying assault, while with Aleix we need to find a good way to develop the machine in order to give him the much-needed confidence to find a good pace and make a good qualifying session.”

Maverick Viñales:

“It’s been an interesting day because with my crew we decided to change the strategy with which we approach practice compared to previous races and I’m happy to say that so far it worked pretty well. We decided not to pursue immediately the top-10 – which means direct access to Q2 – but to focus in finding the best set-up for consistent pace and improving from that point. This idea came from the feeling that in the race I am always consistent but the starting point of this consistency is too slow to allow me to fight with the top riders. The team has given me positive support with this strategy and we hope I will have a faster starting point and then go from there. This has in fact paid dividends already, because my best lap-time was in the last laps with a tyre that was as worn as if we were at the end of a race. This doesn’t mean that I underestimate the importance of a good fast lap attack: tomorrow we have one more session to enter Q2 and for sure I will pursue the best position possible on the grid, but another thing is that having used only two sets of tyres today – both hard – we have many more options for tomorrow.”

Aleix Espargaro:

“This hasn’t been a good day for me, I struggled a lot in finding a good set-up that could allow me to take corners as I wanted. I felt the bike hard to handle in the slow corners and in turns with a quick change of direction; therefore I struggled to move up in the classification. It’s pretty strange because we had very positive feedback from the work we’ve done in Misano, but today we made a lot of changes but none seemed to improve the situation, therefore during the technical meeting this afternoon the team will try to understand how to be faster and define a way for working tomorrow.”

GP of Indianapolis – Combined classification after Q2:

1. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’32.860
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’32.863 +0.003
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’33.155 +0.295
4. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1’33.166 +0.306
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW , CWM LCR Honda – 1’33.186 +0.326
6. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’33.362 +0.502
7. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’33.377 +0.517
8. Scott REDDING, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’33.443 +0.583
9. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’33.474 +0.614
10. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’33.532 +0.672
11. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing – 1’33.763 +0.903
12. Yonny HERNANDEZ, Octo Pramac Racing – 1’33.934 +1.074
13. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’33.973 +1.113
14. Hector BARBERA, Avintia Racing – 1’34.083 +1.223
15. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’34.139 +1.279

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