Team Suzuki Press Office – November 11.
The first testing of the 2016 season has ended at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, and both the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders seemed to be performing well with the new Michelin tyres, as their lap times have consistently been within the top-five positions.
This positive pace during the two days of testing was shown in the final combined classification, with Maverick Viñales in second place with 1:31.163 and Aleix Espargaro in fourth place with 1:31.212.
The first intense test of the new tyres gave positive feelings about the capabilities of the GSX-RRs adapting to them, even though both riders are aware that there is still a lot of work to do before the first race of next season. This leaves the R&D department in Japan much room for improving things still further, thanks also to the consistent feedback collected so far. The tyres need to be investigated further and this will be one of the main objectives at the next private tests planned for November 23rd and 24th in Sepang, Malaysia.
Satoru Terada – Project Leader:
“Finally the first test session of 2016 had finished and we are very happy with the results. Both Aleix and Maverick could lap very fast and – most importantly – their feelings are positive. This means that our machine has adapted well to the new tyres. Of course, these are only the first impressions and we have much work to do yet to understand how to exploit the tyres even more and how they perform, but the positive is that we already have some ideas and direction, so this is very positive for the work we will have to do during the winter. We will go to Sepang in a couple of weeks to further our knowledge of the new tyres and also to allow Aleix and Maverick to test the new electronics software; this has already been tested here in Valencia by the Test Team with Aoki and Tsuda and they gave us positive feedback. It has a lot of potential, it will require effort but I believe we will get positive support from it.”
Best lap: 1:31.163
“This day has been positive for us, we could continue improving and my feeling is getting better and better. In these two days we have only tested the new tyres, because they were completely new for me and I needed to focus on their feeling, and I must say that I feel very comfortable. We still have a lot to do and so many areas that can be improved, but this is positive because today we started to better understand some behaviour of the bike on the tyres and make some first plans for future development. The grip at the rear is very positive, it gives me much confidence and I can take different lines around the circuit that I prefer. The front though needs some more work. I have had some crashes in these last two days and we need to understand what makes the front tyre suddenly lose grip. Our feeling is that the peculiarities of the Michelin require us to load more weight to the front-end, this can come from my riding style and also from geometry and set-up. For sure, we still need to learn a lot, we are only at the beginning of our understanding and definitely need to go more in-depth. The test in Malaysia will be crucial in this sense; they will be two days very useful for us as we will start to do some more important intervention in the set-up. Today’s result gives me much more enthusiasm, it is good when you feel that you have done a lot of work but you are comfortable because you also know where you can improve.”
Best lap: 1:31.212
“This second day was positive as well, this morning I struggled to find a good feeling and finally I also crashed; my third time in these two days, and so with my crew we decided to change the bike a lot to see how it reacted. The new balance gave me better feeling, I can exploit the extreme grip of the rear and also exploit the front better, which was the weak point yesterday. Indeed, it is still something that we have to improve, we know more and more about the tyres’ characteristics and now we will start to apply modifications to the geometry and set-up to see how it goes. We already have some directions and the test we will do in Sepang in a couple of weeks will be very useful. I am also curious to try the new software. At the end of the day I must say I’m happy following this first test with Michelin, there are so many areas that can be improved but my feeling is already positive.”
Valencia Testing – Classification after Day 2:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1:31.060 – 29 / 42
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:31.163 +0.103 – 53 / 57
3. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1:31.180 +0.120 – 30 / 60
4. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:31.212 +0.152 – 44 / 55
5. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:31.282 +0.222 – / 48
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1:31.494 +0.434 – 57 / 58
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:31.498 +0.438 – 57 / 65
8. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:31.619 +0.559 – 50 / 51
9. Andrea IANNONE, Ducati Team – 1:31.619 +0.559 – 57 / 60
10. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:31.694 +0.634 – 70 / 71