The 2016 season started today for MotoGP‰ã¢ at Valencia in Spain as Aleix Espargaro and Maverick ViÌ±ales took to the track for the opening session of the official tests.
The main change for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and the other teams was the use of Michelin tyres - today marked a change in the Official Tyre Supplier - with the French brand coming back into MotoGP‰ã¢.
Espargaro has already had the opportunity to test them during the year, but the new tyres were a ‰Û÷first‰Ûª for ViÌ±ales, who was impressed and very positive by their performance. Today‰Ûªs work mainly focused on getting the riders‰Ûª first impressions about the new characteristics; and running their machines with the same set-ups from Sunday‰Ûªs race.
Both the riders reported a positive feeling; not only the GSX-RRs will have to be adjusted, but also the riding style will need modifications, as the reported feeling from both riders is that the grip has improved on the rear, while the front still needs further improvements.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR‰Ûªs positive feeling is backed-up by the positive results in terms of lap times: ViÌ±ales scored a personal best at 1:31.720, which set him in the fourth place of the classification, only 0.168 from the leader.
Espargaro was well in the top-10 also, with a personal best of 1:32.005 that put him in ninth place, less than half-a-second from the leader.
‰ÛÏToday we have focused mainly in finding the feeling with the new tyres and my judgement so far is very positive and I feel comfortable with them." Vinales who finished the day with the 4th fastest time said.
"I could have been more effective in the braking as the rear is so stable, allowing me to be effective in the entrance of the corner and also in corner-speed.
"The character of these tyres is different from the previous ones, we need to better-understand how they react and the crash I had today is proof of this: I suddenly lost the front without any warning; my feeling is that they have much-more grip at the rear but still some uncertainty about the front.
"This will affect my riding style because I will probably have to load the front more to keep it more stable.
‰ÛÏIn the afternoon we started to introduce some little adaptations in the set-up and the electronics to see the reactions and to prepare tomorrow‰Ûªs job. But I think we can be satisfied with today, we did a good job with a good fast lap-time, but also the consistency is very good, when the tyres get worn I still feel I can trust them.‰Û