Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales put in consistent laps in practice for this weekend’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón MotoGP™ at Motorland Aragon in Spain to secure sixth position as team mate Aleix Espargaró recovered from a slip-off to post 11th.
Both Viñales and Espargaró improved their lap-times aboard their GSX-RRs from the morning’s opening FP1 session, Viñales’ FP2 time of 1’48.886 is less-than half-a-second from Pole, while Espargaró’s time of 1’49.243 is 0.748 off the leader.
The day has been one of development for the riders and both crews busy in finding a good set-up for the bikes according to the variety of track situations. While the efficiency of the chassis is making the GSX-RRs very stable on fast corners, the handling in tighter corners and fast direction changes has still to be improved upon; the final issue only affecting Viñales, while Espargaró has been focusing more in finding better efficiency. The older Spaniard also incurred a crash, fortunately without injury, but the incident cost him valuable time in FP2.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Today we tested many things, both in the set-up and with the tyres. Michelin delivered many solutions and the available combinations are many, so we mainly focused on understanding the bikes reactions and collect data to work on tonight, with the objective of finalising a good set-up for tomorrow. Unfortunately, Aleix had a little crash that made the work complicated; for the moment he’s not in the top-10, which could mean direct access to Q2, but we still have tomorrow’s FP3 to improve. Maverick also tried many things and I believe that tonight the crews will exploit the information gathered to improve for tomorrow.”
“At the end my evaluation of the day is positive, I couldn’t find a really clean lap for a time attack as also in my best attempt I made some little mistakes that prevented me classifying in a better position, so considering this, being four-tenths slower is a good position and means I had the potential to be closer to the top. Here we are very effective in fast sectors, but we still struggle with the handling; our GSX-RR is very stable, it’s one of its strong points, but it becomes hard to turn in fast changes of direction. We will focus mainly on this aspect for tomorrow, we have still many options for the set-up we can explore and with the information we got today we will try to find a better handling.”
“I’m not yet where I’d like to be but we did a positive job today. Unfortunately, in FP2 I had a crash; after turn one when it came to change direction for turn two I made a mistake in changing my weight on the bike, the front was too light and so I lost the grip, resulting in a slide. It was my mistake, it resulted in nothing serious for me but it affected the session, because I had to get back to take the second bike but had a slightly different configuration and I couldn’t feel confident at all. The handling is very important on this track, but the work we’ve done today gave us a lot of feedback that we can exploit for tomorrow’s configuration.”
GRAN PREMIO MOVISTAR DE ARAGÓN FP2 RESULTS:
1 Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – 1’48.429
2 Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’48.494 + 0.065 332.7
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 1’48.510 + 0.081
4 Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’48.669 + 0.240
5 Pol ESPARGARO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’48.749 + 0.320
6 Maverick VIÑALES – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’48.886 + 0.457
7 Jorge LORENZO – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’48.914 + 0.485
8 Hector BARBERA – Avintia Racing – 1’48.970 + 0.541
9 Danilo PETRUCCI – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 1’49.065 + 0.636
10 Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1’49.128 + 0.699
11 Aleix ESPARGARO – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’49.177 + 0.748