Team Suzuki MotoGP made a positive first-day test at Valencia in Spain yesterday with new riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales aboard their 2015 GSX-RR MotoGP machines.
Twenty five-year-old Espargaro set a lap-time of 1:32.315 on his 35th of 40 laps around the Circuit Ricardo Tormo; and in his first laps aboard the machine was within 1.34-seconds away from fastest rider Jorge Lorenzo. Teenager Vinales (19) took his first-laps on the GSX-RR and set a best-time of 1:33.268 on his penultimate lap of 64.
“It was really fantastic. I feel the riding-position is much better compared to the one that I rode this year, and it turns very well so that braking and turning into the corners is really comfortable for me.
“We are still missing some top-end power but I was previously informed this by the Suzuki engineers and I believe that they are working on-it, but the electronic control is not too bad, obviously.
“The machine feels quite compact for me as I am quite tall, but I really enjoyed riding it and had a very positive start: I'm so exciting to continue riding it tomorrow.
“It was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed today. It wasn't easy to get used to the power and speed for me in the beginning, so I paid a lot of attention and concentrated at the start of the session and tried to adapt little-by-little.
“The chassis is quite compact – and that fitted me very well – and I could brake as hard as in Moto2, but I’ve only opened ‘full-gas’ in the middle of the straight-straight so far. I'm also not using the electronic control either, apart from the traction control, so there is still a lot to do. The bike leans and corners easily, even though I've not had to change my riding-style so much; I’m really feel comfortable without modifying anything.
“I hope the power-delivery will be improved-more for me as we continue our testing, but I also need to learn lots more myself and improve my riding as well.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“I'm quite happy with our first day. The new team atmosphere is especially good, which gives the team a good motivation and I’m glad to see that our new riders look so happy on their bikes. Our garage looks happy and relaxed.
“Another positive thing was that we'd got lots of feedback from our two riders: Aleix, who has more experience, understands the machine’s character very quickly and gave us the positive-points and negative-points immediately; while Maverick - who also enjoyed riding the MotoGP bike for his first time - prefers to make his steps slowly but steadily to have confidence and find the limits.
“Overall, it was a very positive start, and we hope the weather stays good tomorrow, and to continue a good improvement and direction.”
Valencia Day 1 Test Results: 1 Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha) 1:30.975, 2 Pol Espargaro (Yamaha) 1:31.118, 3 Bradley Smith (Yamaha) 1:31.204, 4 Valentino Rossi (Yamaha) 1:31.250, 5 Andrea Iannone (Ducati) 1:31.465, 6 Dani Pedrosa (Honda) 1:31.602, 7 Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati) 1:31.644, 8 Cal Crutchlow (Honda) 1:31.847, 9 Michele Pirro (Ducati) 1:32.054, 10 Yonny Hernandez (Pramac Racing) 1: 32.146. 14 Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki MotoGP) 1:32.315. 17 Maverick Vinales (Team Suzuki MotoGP) 1:33.268.