Press Release: Team Suzuki Ecstar travels to Argentina this week and then onto America for back-to-back MotoGP Championship races; the GP of Argentina and the Grand Prix of The Americas; and both riders are eager to improve on where they left off at round one two weeks’ ago.
The opening race of 18 in Qatar saw Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró make a positive debut on their new 2016 Factory GSX-RRs, confirming the solid progress that has been made, technically, over the winter by the Suzuki Factory team in Japan, along with their pre-season testing.
Viñales classified in the top-times during the Qatar weekend, recording a front-row grid position, plus a positive sixth place in the race; even though a few minor issues with rear grip prevented the 21-year-old Spaniard scoring a possible better result to start his 2016 campaign.
Team-mate Espargaró also had some issues at the opening event in finding the best feeling with his machine, but a last-minute change to his GSX-RR just before the race allowed him to improve in confidence; and these changes helped him progress further from his grid position of 15th to 11th overall in the race.
In 2015, the Argentinian GP was a memorable one for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR: Espargaró put-in a very effective fast-lap and classified second on grid, bringing strong emotions to the team; Suzuki’s first ‘parc fermè’ in its first-year MotoGP comeback into the premier class. And both riders finished top-10 in the race.
The Termas de Río Hondo Circuit is located 6km from the city of Rio Honda, in the Province of Santiago del Estero. It was built in a 150 hectare area and was officially inaugurated on May 11th, 2008 during the visit of Argentina’s Touring Car Racing Championship. In 2012, the reconditioning, enlargement and modernisation of the circuit began, with the purpose of turning it into Latin America’s most modern, safe and vibrant circuit. It is 4.8km in length (2.99 miles) and has five left-hand corners and nine left-hand turns. The longest straight measures 1076 m (3530.18 ft) and the race will be run over 25 laps; a total distance of 120.2 km (74.8 miles).
“Although it will be a long trip, I’m happy to go to Argentina and immediately get back on my GSX-RR. Since the winter we have made really positive steps forward, the machine has improved a lot; and I feel very comfortable. The result in the Qatar Qualifying is proof of our competitiveness, but the final result in the race left me a bitter taste, as it could have been better. I’m eager to start working with my team again, we still have so many things to test and to verify; and the room for improvement is there to make some more steps forward.”
“After the bad weekend in Qatar I can’t wait to get back with my team and start working on my machine again. We have been struggling to find a good set-up, we made so many changes in Qatar, but after the race we may have now found a good direction so I am curious to try it as soon as possible. The technical package we have is excellent; therefore I am confident I can improve a great deal. We are all working hard, so Argentina will be a good opportunity to show this, I hope.”
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2015 Argentina Results:
Qualifying: 2nd – 1’38.316
Qualifying: 9th – 1’39.187