Team Suzuki Ecstar Continue Evaluation at Sepang

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Team Suzuki Press Office – February 2.  Team SUZUKI ECSTAR has spent the second day of MotoGP™ testing at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia evaluating several new parts and settings from the R&D department in Hamamatsu, Japan.

Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales focused mainly on supporting engineers to better set up the new electronics, while late in the afternoon introduced the brand new 2016 GSX-RR, equipped with the new chassis. Both riders reported constant improvements and appeared satisfied with the new material introduced by the Factory.

Viñales, who finished the day in 11th with a time of 2m01.421s, had the opportunity to test with the new soft tyre, while Espargaro (16th with 2:02.092) couldn’t due to a problem on the track to another rider that forced him to lap only with a hard tyre. This was also one of the reasons why his best lap today was in the lower part of the classification.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It’s been another peculiar day but we kept on with our work plan. We’ve learned a lot and we could improve some areas, we got better into the new chassis and found some important areas on how to finalise them. We are working on the set-up, but also the main focus is the electronics: Until we find a good basic configuration our priority is just that. Also today, the riders did a huge amount of work, being very patient in supporting the engineers with their feedback, which allowed us to make some steps forward. Maverick did some good lap times while unfortunately Aleix couldn’t make any attempt due to his working plan. However we still have tomorrow for some more tries. From my side, everything is progressing smoothly, we know this is the preparation phase and we have to exploit it as much as possible to evaluate the different options we have.”

Maverick Viñales:
Best lap: 2m01.421s.

“To me it’s been a positive day, we tested so much with the new electronics and I also had the chance to try the new chassis. We did a positive job, although I still feel a lack of confidence from the rear. I still feel the rear tyre spinning a lot so we have to better understand this issue. We are very competitive on tracks with very grippy tarmac, but when we come to circuits like this or Austin and Argentina, where there is much less grip, we suffer this traction issue. I got very good sensations from the new engine, its power has increased, but the delivery is smooth and manageable. We improved a lot in the electronics today, but we still need to investigate, it gives us many options but we have to understand how to manage them. Apparently we won’t get soft tyres tomorrow so we will probably focus more and more to find a better confidence and set-up for the hard tyre, so that we create a consistent database of information.”

Aleix Espargaro:
Best lap: 2’02.092s.

“Today has been a very complicated day, the morning went pretty fast without being able to do much work: I had issues with the engine at the very beginning of the day and then when I switched to the second machine, an accident happened and the track was red-flagged. After Baz’s crash we couldn’t use the soft tyre, therefore we focused the whole day working with the hard tyre to better understand it. Then in the afternoon we had some issues with the electronics, of course it’s pretty normal that we had to make several attempts as it is brand new. At the end of the day I can count only few clean and positive laps in the whole day, for my satisfaction I would have hoped for something better but we have to consider that this is what tests are meant for. We have to stay focused and stick to our plans, I know the team has already planned further steps for tomorrow and my desire is only to continue working with them. I could make a few laps with new chassis and swingarm at the end of the afternoon and I got some positive impressions, which I’m curious to try again tomorrow.”

MALAYSIAN TEST – Day 2 Classification:

1. PETRUCCI, Danilo – Octo Pramac Yakhnich – 2:00.095
2. LORENZO, Jorge – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2:00.155 – +0.060
3. BARBERA, Hector – Avintia Racing – 2:00.387 – +0.292
4. MARQUEZ, Marc – Repsol Honda Team – 2:00.843 – +0.748
5. CRUTCHLOW, Cal – LCR Honda – 2:00.899 – +0.804
6. ROSSI, Valentino – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2:01.021 – +0.926
7. REDDING, Scott – Octo Pramac Yakhnich – 2:01.049 – +0.954
8. IANNONE, Andrea – Ducati Team – 2:01.052 – +0.957
9. STONER, Casey – Ducati Team – 2:01.103 – +1.008
10. SMITH, Bradley – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2:01.107 – +1.012
11. VIÑALES, Maverick – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2:01.421 – +1.326
12. PEDROSA, Dani – Repsol Honda Team – 2:01.475 – +1.380
13. HERNANDEZ, Yonny – Aspar MotoGP Team – 2:01.644 – +1.549
14. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea – Ducati Team – 2:01.723 – +1.628
15. ESPARGARO, Pol – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2:01.992 – +1.897
16. ESPARGARO, Aleix – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2:02.092 – +1.997
17. RABAT, Tito – EG 0.0 Marc VDS – 2:02.328 – +2.233
18. BRADL, Stefan – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:02.372 – +2.277
19. BAZ, Loris – Avintia Racing – 2:02.611 – +2.516
20. NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki – Yamaha Test Team – 2:02.691 – +2.596
21. BAUTISTA, Alvaro – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:02.876 – +2.781