Moto GP

Team Suzuki Ecstar on the pace in Qatar testing day one

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Team Suzuki Ecstar on the pace in Qatar testing day one
Team Suzuki Ecstar riders Maverick Vi̱ales and Aleix Espargaro continued their positive 2016 MotoGP pre-season testing schedule tonight under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, where the season begins in two weeks‰Ûª time.

Vi̱ales impressed again aboard his new 2016 GSX-RR Suzuki ‰ÛÒ as he did in Australia last month ‰ÛÒ by setting the second-fastest time with a 1:55.880 on his 28th lap, as Espargaro and his crew continued development with his machine, finishing the first of three days in 11th (+1.100).

Vi̱ales rode a total of 44 laps, testing both the 2015 and 2016 chassis‰Ûª, getting back important information about the feeling. The job done today was mainly focused to improve the finalisation of the machine, step-by-step and mainly regarding the electronics and overall set-up.

"I‰Ûªm happy with the work we could do today and for the result of this first day. We didn‰Ûªt focus on testing so many things but more to find consistency in the improvement of the setting and the electronics," Espargaro explained.

"We have tested both the 2015 and 2016 chassis and the results are positive. Although my best lap was done with the old chassis, my feeling is that with the new one we are already very close and this leaves us a lot of room for improvement. We made many laps and did a huge amount of work, the times here are getting very, very fast these days; for example, my lap time is already almost one second faster than last year‰Ûªs race, therefore we really need to keep on working. I feel very confident with the front tyre, while we still need to work on the rear as we couldn‰Ûªt find the perfect grip yet, so we can improve further.‰Û
Team Suzuki Ecstar on the pace in Qatar testing day one
Aleix Espargaro
It was a little more of a struggle for Espargaro, who did a positive job throughout the day and marked some important improvements, although the end of the day saw him crash and not being able to exploit the whole of his time on-track.

"This has been another hard day, but once again I feel positive," Espargaro said.

"After the very bad feeling I had in Australia, here we find a better configuration and the situation got better. Today around the half of the session we changed our direction and the machine improved a great deal for me. Unfortunately when two hours were missing to the end, when I incurred a crash, it was strange because I put a new tyre on and got a high-side in a very slow corner, but this is Qatar: When the humidity comes, the track‰Ûªs conditions change very much. I didn‰Ûªt have any major injury but my back hurts a lot, as it already has damage from last year‰Ûªs crashes. Now I‰Ûªll go to rest and recover for tomorrow, but the direction we found is positive so I‰Ûªm eager to improve.‰Û

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