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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Viñales on the 2nd Row at COTA MotoGP


Team Suzuki Press Office – April 10.  Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales will start from the second row at tomorrow’s MotoGP™ World Championship third round at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas as team-mate Aleix Espargaró qualified on row three.

Viñales set himself in between the top riders once again in today’s qualifying, resulting in being the fifth fastest rider in Q2 with a time of 2’04.247. Because of the penalisation of Iannone, who will be penalised by three places, Viñales will jump to fourth place on the grid. His positive day started in morning’s free practice, when a few improvements in his GSX-RR’s set-up allowed him to improve his lap times and get the direct access to Q2. In qualifying, some more troubles with the set-up and the new tyres made his session a little harder, but he found the pace to record a second-row start.

The improvements for Aleix Espargaró continued today as well, with significant drops in his lap times. The set-up is giving him more and more confidence and this led to a positive performance. Although in FP3 he couldn’t get direct access to Q2, his determination helped him to score a solid lap time in Q1, and the 12th rider to get into the qualifying for the top 12. In the following Q2, he could be effective and finally score the 2’04.408 that sets him on the third row.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“At the end we managed to recover today that started in a hard way for some reasons. With Maverick we are still trying to fix some problems that are making his job hard, but despite these, he could get a really good position for the grid but thinking ahead to the race, we still have some work to do on making his tyre working better. Although Aleix had to pass through Q1 he finally managed to get into Q2 and he did a good job, getting the third row and he showed progress as well, which is important.”

Maverick Viñales:

“The second row is a good position to start from, but I’m not happy enough. Ok that we are fourth, but with more than a one second gap, this isn’t where I want to be. Today we couldn’t take all the profit out from our machine, in FP3 and FP4 we found an effective set-up with worn tyres, but then when I put the new ones for the qualifying we found out that it was much worse. This affected the qualifying, I felt I had the potential to get onto the first row and it’s a pity. We now have to understand what happened and what’s the solution for tomorrow. For sure we have to change our approach and try to be a lot more confident.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“I’m happy, I would have never thought that with a ninth place I would have been this happy, because this is not where Suzuki deserves to be, but it’s an improvement from where we were in the early races. In Qatar and Argentina I was feeling very bad; no way to understand how to be faster, I crashed many times, we had so many difficulties…. but now with this chassis and the new set-up I finally started to feel better, to be able to turn the bike as I want and finally to be more effective. In qualifying we did a very good job, I did many laps and finally I missed the second row by only one-tenth. Also in FP4 I made good times with worn tyres, so I think we are in a better position.”

GP of Americas Q2 Results:

1 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team – 2’03.188
2 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2’03.257 + 0.069
3 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2’03.644 + 0.456
4 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team – 2’03.913 + 0.725
5 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2’04.247 + 1.059 *
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda – 2’04.265 + 1.077
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team – 2’04.339 + 1.151
8 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team – 2’04.379 + 1.191
9 Aleix ESPARGARO Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2’04.408 + 1.220
10 Scott REDDING OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 2’04.485 + 1.297

*Will start from 4th place.

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