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Viñales & Suzuki Ecstar Fight Back to 5th at Misano


Team Suzuki Press Office – September 11.

Maverick Viñales – 5th.
Aleix Espargaró – NC.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales fought back to fifth position after a positive race in today’s MotoGP™ round at the World Misano Circuit Marco Simoncelli in San Marino, as team-mate Aleix Espargaró was unfortunate to slip-off at the half-way stage.

Viñales, who started from third position on the front-row aboard his GSX-RR, kept his position in the early stages but got moved down a few positions until making a move back to fifth place. But he was deemed to have crossed a ‘no-go’ racing line and had to slow and relinquish the position to the rider behind him; which he regained very quickly and subsequently held for the rest of the race.

Team-mate Espargaró had more problems with the tyre management today, having a very bad feeling with the front-end that prevented him being really competitive; and which finally resulted in a crash that took him out of the race. The early laps and the whole weekend proved the improvements made for the Spanish rider, but the tyre choice was not the best for his riding style and also some of the tyre performance will be further investigated.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Today’s race cannot be considered negative, but compared to the last one we cannot be satisfied. It’s been a pity because during the weekend in all the race simulations, we had a very strong pace with both riders, but finally our best result in the race is Maverick’s fifth place; this means we need to find something more to catch the faster competitors as soon as possible. Also, it’s a pity for Aleix, he has been consistently-improving in the weekend but unfortunately had to retire because of the crash. Now we head to Aragon, which is a good track for our riders, and I hope we can continue to improve and chase the podium again.”

Maverick Viñales:

“I am really satisfied with this race, and although I couldn’t get on the podium, fifth place is a really good result if we consider our starting points; this was one of the hardest tracks for our machine and here it was really hot – a condition in which we have always been struggling recently. Finishing in fifth place, after winning a fierce battle, is a positive result. During the race I felt really confident with the front, but the rear had no grip at all, so I had to push really hard and adapt my riding style. I managed to keep with the leading group at the beginning but then I had to go back. At around half-race distance I felt I could push more and my lap-times became faster again. I had to give-up one position for having exceeded the track limit but recovered immediately. I must say thank you to my team, they did an incredible job and it’s really a relief to be aware that now we are getting competitive also in hot conditions.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“The crash was a little one, but exactly the same as the other two I had; three crashes in a weekend is something rare and I’m disappointed with this. I struggled a lot with the front grip for the whole weekend, then in the race I had to push a lot and the problem generated the crash. Such a bad feeling I had in the race is not normal, maybe we can investigate some possible causes, but also the truth is that probably the tyre choice was a mistake. It’s always easy to comment when the game is over, but looking at the winner, we should have made a completely different choice. It’s a mistake, once again I struggled to find a good direction to work, we cannot work harder than what we are doing so be should probably find a better way to work in order to make better choices and be more competitive.”


1 Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – 43’43.524
2 Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 43’46.361 + 2.837
3 Jorge LORENZO – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 43’47.883 + 4.359
4 Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 43’53.093 + 9.569
5 Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 43’58.991 + 15.467
6 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 44’03.200 + 19.676
7 Michele PIRRO – Ducati Team – 44’06.460 + 22.936
8 Pol ESPARGARO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 44’10.679 + 27.155
9 Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 44’10.726 + 27.202
10 Alvaro BAUTISTA – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 44’17.492 + 33.968
NC: Aleix ESPARGARO – SUZUKI ECSTAR – 26’52.205 – 11 laps

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