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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Suzuki Ecstar ‘Move Forward’ to Aragon GP in Spain


Team Suzuki Press Office – September 23.

After a crazy race in Misano, with a flag-to-flag race and bike-swapping due to changing weather conditions, MotoGP™ this weekend heads to Spain for the third time this year to race the Grand Prix of Aragon, at the Motorland circuit near Alcañiz.

Racing in Spain is always emotional for the team, as both Espargaro and Viñales are Spaniards and will have a huge number of fans crowding the circuit’s stands. The season so far has been a steady improvement for both and the final rush towards the Championship’s finale is expected to be tough and crucial as team and riders attempt to end their first year with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR with a place in the overall top-10.

The Motorland Circuit of Aragon is a modern facility that was remodelled in 2010 to fulfil the security and standards requested by the MotoGP™ organization. The origins of the Grand Prix have their roots in a solid history of street racing in Alcañiz and the circuit has hosted events between 1963 and 2003. Eventually it has been modernised thanks to the renowned German circuit architect Hermann Tilke.

The track is 5.077km (3.16 miles) long and has 17 turns: 10 left-handers and seven right-handers. The longest straight is 968 m (3175.85 ft.) and the Grand Prix will be raced over 23 laps, which corresponds to a total length of 116.8 km or 72.7 miles.

Aleix Espargaro:

“After a very positive first part of the season we have now slowed down our improvement process, although the Suzuki project in its entirety still looks very strong. We are struggling with the bike initially over the weekend as we have some difficulties in finding good settings when we arrive at a new track; and this steals time from concentrating on the time attack in qualifying and race set-up. In Misano we did a great job with huge improvements from one session to another, finally the weather mixed-up the things in the race and I couldn’t make the progress I wanted. A positive thing to be noticed for me is the reaction time we had: we made many changes on the bike and finally found a good direction. Not finding a good and clear direction from the first session complicates things, but we must also remember that we are new and we completely lack in information and data as every circuit is new for us.

“Even though we had tested in Misano, the weather and temperature conditions were so different that the data was just not comparable. In Aragon I hope it will be a little easier, we have tested a few weeks ago in Motorland and I guess that there won’t be such a difference in the track conditions, therefore allowing us to exploit the information we have and start with a basic set-up that we know. For sure we need some more acceleration, at the moment it is the weakest point we have, but we must take the best out of what my GSX-RR has to offer.”

Maverick Viñales:

“Misano was a very tricky weekend. I had many expectations from testing and when you have expectations it is always tricky because you get easily upset when you get disappointed. In fact I struggled to find good confidence with my GSX-RR with the basic set-up we developed a few weeks before and this got me very nervous, which makes things worse. I spoke a lot with my team and I tried to calm down, in order to stay focused for the race. Unfortunately the variable weather conditions messed-up everything and we had to improvise. I know I can rely on very expert engineers and managers but we are a new team also when it comes to manage the various strategies ‘on-the-go’ so we had to strengthen our feeling with the bike very quickly.

“It’s been positive as we now have much more knowledge about the machine in variable conditions and more confidence with each other. This is a further step that I have completed in my apprenticeship this year: not only improving my riding style but also managing the varied situations in a race. In Aragon we will keep on with this approach, we already know the track since we tested here a few weeks ago and I hope the conditions will be pretty similar, so that we can exploit the work we’ve done in testing. Now it is important to us to find more quickly the effectiveness with my machine and to exploit its potential at its best. We know what we lack, the factory is working hard to deliver us new parts and improvements as soon as possible; and we must keep on working.”

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