New Team SUZUKI MotoGP riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales made huge steps-forward in the final day of the official MotoGP Test at Valencia in Spain this week, with Espargaro setting the fastest-ever lap-time for a Team SUZUKI MotoGP machine.
The 25-year-old Spaniard, who finished seventh in the 2014 MotoGP Championship, put-in a best-lap of 1:31.973 on his 34th-lap of a total of 41-laps, shaving-off more-than 300ths-of-a-second from Monday’s ‘Day 1’ time in his first ride aboard the 2015 Suzuki GSX-RR.
Team-mate Maverick Vinales also got-to-grips with the extra power of the GSX-RR, after stepping off his Moto2 machine that he raced to third position this year, to finish in 18th position with a time of 1:33.216; from 22 categorised riders.
“I’m really happy with our first test. Unfortunately, due to the rain we missed the second day completely, but we learned a lot about the bike.
“The first day was just for understanding the bike and finding the right position, but today we could try to go to the limit of the bike, and I found that the frame is really good and it turns and handles really easily. We also made big steps with the electronics-side and we made good improvements on the traction control and engine braking.
“I’m quite optimistic with the package we have and it was good that I could make lap-times that were not so far from the top guys. Now I’m really looking forward to the next test and further development. “
“I’m very happy overall with the test and quite satisfied that I could make plenty of laps as it was very-important for me to learn the feel in the MotoGP bike.
“I found better grip on the bike with the hard tyre and could set the same lap-times I made on the first-day when I rode with a soft tyre. I could not make better lap-times when I tried the soft tyre again and so I concentrated on finding and keeping the best lines on the track.
“I have learned a lot about the bike and I had so much fun riding it! I look forward to the next test in Jerez, as we have lots more to try there.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“I’m pleased with this test, and now I’m really looking forward to start working with our new riders next year.
“We received a lot of feedback and comments from both riders which were very interesting to hear, especially Aleix with his MotoGP experience, while Maverick, who was riding a MotoGP bike for the first time, had made a softer approach, trying to avoid any risks.
“The most positive thing was that both riders liked the bike very much and they were happy throughout the test and enjoyed riding the bikes.
“Of-course, we still have some areas which have to be improved, such as the engine performance and the electronics, and we will test more in Jerez at the end of the month. Hopefully we will be able to conclude 2014 with another positive test and will be able to start 2015 with a fully sorted bike at the start of the season.
“I would like to thank to all the Suzuki engineers, team crew, and also Randy De Puniet for their hard work throughout the development period and now we look forward to the new season and the new era for Team Suzuki MotoGP.”
Satoru Terada – Project Leader. SUZUKI MotoGP Director:
“I’m happy that we completed the first test with our new riders and without any crashes.
“We have enjoyed the favorable comments from Aleix about our chassis, especially the front end stability. We’ve found much better settings on the rear end also. In terms of the engine control system, for sure this is one of the points that we are working-on, but now we have some good information and ideas for this area.
“Regarding Maverick, this was his first test run after moving from Moto2 and so we tried to let him run without changing too-much from the base setting.
“As for the chassis, we succeeded in finding a good direction to head towards after several adjustments to the base settings.
“For the next test we will work on new electrical engine-control settings.
“Now we have two excellent riders we are very happy to work with them on the next stage of the development programme.”
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