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Viñales and Espargaró on the Pace at Motegi


 Team Suzuki Press Office – October 14. 

Maverick Viñales – 3rd
Aleix Espargaró – 6th

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró both made strong starts to the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi today with third and sixth fastest times respectively.

Following the morning’s opening practice session, both GSX-RR riders shaved more-than a second from their lap-times in this afternoon’s FP2, Viñales securing third position with a time of 1’45.248 and Espargaró sixth on 1’45.513.

Both riders have found positive feelings in this first day of MotoGP™ practice, highlighting the improvements made since last year; and the improved performance of the GSX-RR allowed them to put their names consistently in the highest places of the classification, showing that the machine more adaptable to the tricky stop-and-go layout of the Motegi circuit.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“We started with the right feet at this emotional home GP with both riders among the fastest in both sessions. Maverick did many fast laps, finding himself in the leading position in many sectors several times, and finally ended in third place, but showing a good pace already. Aleix made many improvements as well, finally finding himself comfortable on the bike. He worked on the set-up to find a better confidence with the front, and has already done some work for the race. It’s important for us to make such a start, although we still have room for improvement and so we will continue working for tomorrow.”

Maverick Viñales:

I feel very good, today we have worked very hard with the tyres to prepare for the race and the results are positive. We still need to work on the rear to find a good set-up that could allow me to save the tyre until the end of the race. My team did a very good job, I can feel the improvements we have done throughout the season in being more effective in the adaptation of set-up and electronics between the sessions, our learning and adaptation process is getting faster and faster, allowing me to make big steps. For tomorrow we will work to find an even better feeling with the rear, improving acceleration, focusing on the electronics configuration, and then try a good time attack which is a thing we didn’t focus on today.”

Aleix Espargaró:

“I’m satisfied with the day as my feeling is good, this is not a track I’ve felt fast on in the past but today I got a positive outcome. Already in the morning I felt confident and in the afternoon I could improve even more, we are working very hard and this is paying back. Also I’m expecting to be even faster tomorrow, today I had to work a lot on the lines as the track had some tricky conditions in some points; it’s a learning process that gave me some hints already but still leaves me room for improvement.”


1 Jorge LORENZO – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’45.151
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1’45.204 + 0.053
3 Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’45.248 + 0.097
4 Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’45.303 + 0.152
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 1’45.501 + 0.350
6 Aleix ESPARGARO – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’45.513 + 0.362
7 Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’45.532 + 0.381
8 Danilo PETRUCCI – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 1’46.172 +1.021
9 Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – 1’46.227 + 1.076
10 Pol ESPARGARO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’46.245 + 1.094

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