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New Direction Found by Suzuki Ecstar at Catalunya Test


Team Suzuki Press Office – June 6 Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró enjoyed one day of official IRTA MotoGP™ testing at the circuit of Catalunya in Spain as a follow-up to yesterday’s race that saw Viñales in third place with a lap-time of 1:44.310 and Espargaró fifth with a 1:44.717-lap.

The main objective for the team was to verify the data collected during the weekend and compare them with different settings that have been developed so far. This also included a further test of the chassis: The riders had at their disposal the evolution chassis that they tested two weeks ago in Valencia, therefore having more time and less pressure to test them freely; and this was also useful to decide which frame will be used at the next race at Assen in The Netherlands on June 26th.

The work on the chassis brought many set-up configurations and electronics, in particular verifying what happened in yesterday’s race regarding the issue that forced Espargaró to retire with seven laps to go. The outcome today was positive, as the team gathered a lot more information and useful data that will help them to better-manage the electronics, especially with tyre management and performance drop; this having been the cause for yesterday’s fault in the electronics on Espargaró’s machine.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“During today’s test we had the chance to revise what happened in the racing weekend, gaining more experience and knowledge. With Maverick we re-tested the chassis that we tested in Valencia, which was dropped for the Catalunya race as there was no time in a racing weekend for proper comparisons. Here, he had more time to analyse the feelings and at the end of the day, this evolution frame gave him a good feedback, therefore we will likely take it to Assen for the race. We did some tests on the chassis also with Aleix, who in the end decided to keep the standard version chassis. With both of them we tested different solutions of electronics and settings, in particular for Aleix, to better-manage the front tyre drop, while for Maverick to have the rear-end work more efficiently. It’s been a positive day of work and we gathered more data, which we will try to exploit in Assen and also in the next races.”

Maverick Viñales:

“Today we focused on testing the evolution chassis that we already had in Valencia and I really feel more confident with it. For the race weekend here in Catalunya we decided to go back to the standard frame as it was too risky to go with the new one, but with the work we’ve done today, and the new settings we tried, the improvement is significant. Compared to yesterday’s pace I could improve a lot, but also the general feeling is better, as it allows me to ride with more confidence. My request was to have more rear-grip, and Suzuki worked to modify the chassis in order to be more efficient in this area. Now I feel more confident in the middle part of corners and this allows me to be less aggressive on the tyres. The engineers will now study and revise all data, but I guess we will keep the evolution chassis in Assen and try to work on that as a base.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“This test has been positive because it allowed us to understand many, many things. First of all, we could re-analyse what happened yesterday and take advantage of this and learn from it. Then, we again made a comparison between the standard chassis and the evolution one; the one we already tested in Valencia two weeks ago. Maybe to decide to race the weekend in Catalunya with the evolution chassis was not the best choice for me, because today we spent the morning with it and I felt the same problems I felt during the weekend, then in the afternoon we got back to the standard chassis with new settings and I immediately felt more comfortable and the lap time dropped quickly. This was very helpful to decide which path to take for the next race in Assen. We did many laps today which were very helpful for the new settings and electronics improvements.”

MotoGP™ Official Test Catalunya Results:

1 Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 1:43.963
2 Jorge LORENZO – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:44.202 + 0.239
3 Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:44.310 + 0.347
4 Andrea IANNONE – Ducati Team – 1:44.390 + 0.427
5 Aleix ESPARGARO – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:44.717 + 0.754
6 Hector BARBERA – Avintia Racing – 1:44.889 + 0.926
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1:44.968 + 1.005
8 Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1:45.029 + 1.066
9 Scott REDDING – Octo Pramac Yakhnich – 1:45.328 + 1.368
10 Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – 1:45.379 + 1.416