Team Suzuki Press Office – September 24.
Maverick Viñales – 4th.
Aleix Espargaró – 7th.
Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró put in strong performances on their Team SUZUKI ECSTAR GSX-RRs at today’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón MotoGP™ in Spain after having led the race for several laps.
Viñales – choosing a hard/ hard Michelin tyre combination – took the lead on the opening of 23 laps at Motorland Aragon from his second position on the grid, and, apart from losing his lead a few times momentarily, controlled the race until almost half race-distance before running wide, but fought back to bring home a solid fourth-place and just off the podium.
Espargaró – using a medium front/ hard rear tyre choice – was also very much in the mix with the leading pack and at one stage moved to fifth position, eventually scoring seventh.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“My feeling after this race is half good and half bad; positive things are that Maverick fought for the podium and Aleix did a great race fighting for good position and ending the race without crashes. There is also a little disappointment if we consider our expectations: The weekend was positive with both riders consistently fast and this morning’s pace gave us hopes for a podium and a better placement. Anyway, both riders finished the race, not so bad positions, and also we proved that our work is progressing better and better this season. We will continue to chase our second victory and some more podiums. The next race will be in Japan, many people from the Suzuki Factory are coming to see us and many supporters will crowd the stands; it’s ‘gonna be an emotional one considering that recently we have been consistently fighting within the top teams and riders.”
“Another positive race for me, although I’m never fully satisfied when I’m off the podium, but we must say that we gave 100% today. When the grip was supporting me I could do a really good pace, and in fact I took the lead in the race. I felt really confident and the lap-times came quickly and easily. Then suddenly the rear tyre lost performance due to the consumption and that is when I had to give-it-up a little. I couldn’t feel confident with hard-braking and also in acceleration, and trying to force the pace I made some mistakes that warned me to be more conservative in my riding. It was important to not have a crash and to finish the race; fourth is a lot better than a ‘NC.’ We knew I could have problems towards the end of the race with a worn tyre, we tried to put in some countermeasures with the electronics, but we still need to better-develop this set-up. We are continually learning and my crew did a really good job, we are getting better and better and the results in last races are evidence on this.”
“I had bigger expectations for the race, especially to be more competitive at the beginning because the progress we made in this morning’s Warm-Up gave me bigger hopes. The start was positive but then I struggled a lot to overtake for the fifth position in the second part of the race, which was the one needed to keep in contact with the head of the race. When I succeeded it was too late to catch up. Anyway my feeling was a little better than last races but I still struggle to find a good feeling with the front. I’m not able to interpret the front tyre and exploit its potential. We made a lot of attempts and changes but I can’t adapt my riding style and so I cannot be as fast as I would like to be. I had a really good fight until the end, but finally I made a small mistake on the last lap and I lost sixth position.”
GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN RACE RESULTS:
1 Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 41’57.678
2 Jorge LORENZO – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 42’00.418 + 2.740
3 Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 42’03.661 + 5.983
4 Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 42’05.916 + 8.238
5 Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 42’10.899 + 13.221
6 Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – 42’14.750 + 17.072
7 Aleix ESPARGARO – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 42’16.200 + 18.522
8 Pol ESPARGARO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 42’17.110 + 19.432
9 Alvaro BAUTISTA – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 42’20.749 + 23.071
10 Stefan BRADL – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 42’25.576 + 27.898