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Viñales & Suzuki Fourth at Catalan GP


Team Suzuki Press Office – June 5.  Maverick Viñales scored a brilliant result at his home MotoGP™ race for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR at the Circuit Catalunya-Barcelona today with a hard-fought fourth position aboard his GSX-RR.

The 21-year-old Spaniard set a blistering pace from the start, moving-up to fifth from his sixth-placed grid position, to hound the leading pack in the early stages, as he lapped even faster than the leaders: In his fifth lap he scored the new circuit record with the stunning 1’45.971, but as the chase to the podium positions was very demanding for the tyres, this forced him to reserve wear and settle for the fourth position.

Team-mate Aleix Espargaró, unfortunately suffered with electronic issues. After the normal tyres dropped, the issue became too prevalent and he had to pull-out of his home race with seven laps to go.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR will now stay one more day in Catalunya for a session of IRTA tests tomorrow where technicians will verify the data collected over the weekend and prepare for the upcoming races; working particularly with the evolution chassis and fine-tuning of electronics.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Firstly, I want to very-much thank both riders because they kept on working both yesterday and today, even though on Friday they lost a very good friend of theirs. They did positive work, and in particular Maverick did a good job in the race. In the first part of the race he stayed with the top competitors, fighting at the same level or even faster, but when the tyre-drop downed our performance, he suffered more than the others, so this is one aspect we have to work on. Anyway, he took the maximum from our machine, he scored fourth and we are happy with this. Aleix, unfortunately, had some electronic issues during the race that forced him to enter the pit lane and retire. This weekend he struggled to find a good feeling with the bike and we will use tomorrow’s test to try to deliver him a more comfortable bike and look towards the next race in Assen positively and with the best attitude.”

Maverick Viñales:

“I’m happy with the final result of the race, although I had to struggle towards the end with the rear grip and maybe I couldn’t take the whole profit from of our race. I managed to make a really good jump and stay close to the leading group, my laps were consistent and fast, but it took me a lot to overtake for the fifth and then to the fourth positions, stressing my tyres. I’m happy, but it’s also a pity, because if I managed to overtake sooner, my pace would have allowed me to fight for the podium. We still lack in rear grip, we have been dealing with this for a while now and we will work further on that in tomorrow’s test. We will try the evolution chassis again in order to understand how to improve. We still have room for improvement, but overall I can say I’m happy with this fourth place; it’s a good way to remember my friend Luis Salom who passed away on Friday.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“Unfortunately during the race I had electronic issues that prevented me finishing. There was an unusual intervention of the traction control which prevented the bike delivering the power we had, and lap-after-lap, with the consumption of the tyres, the situation got worse and worse, until I had to stop. It’s a pity, I feel at home in Montmelò and I really wanted to have a great race. Unfortunately, we couldn’t be really competitive the whole weekend, we still need to work and get a better feeling, so tomorrow’s test will be very important in this sense. Let’s try to forget this race, focus on the job and think ahead to Assen, which is one of my best tracks.”


1 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 44’37.589
2 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team – 44’40.241 + 2.652
3 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team – 44’43.902 + 6.313
4 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 45’01.977 + 24.388
5 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 45’07.135 + 29.546
6 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda – 45’13.833 + 36.244
7 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team – 45’19.053 + 41.464
8 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 45’20.564 + 42.975
9 Danilo PETRUCCI OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 45’22.926 + 45.337
10 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing – 45’24.258 + 46.669

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