Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales are looking forward to getting back on their GSX-RRs at this weekend’s fourth round of the MotoGP™ World Championship at the Circuit of Jerez in Spain for the first of six European races.
Fresh from positive top-10 race results at Circuit of The Americas, USA and Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina, the two Spaniards are keen to continue to move forward with the team’s improvements and developments made to their GSX-RRs; plus having a boost from the additional support from the enthusiastic Spanish fans. The objective in Spain will be to take advantage of new information and data collected so far in the opening three races, with a more-effective GSX-RR that is consistent at race-pace, yet also fast in qualifying.
Built in 1986, the 4.4km Circuit of Jerez, set in a valley in the south of the country, features five left and eight right-hand turns that the team hopes will suit the exceptional handling of the GSX-RR. Team SUZUKI ECSTAR takes to the track on Friday for the opening FP1 at 09:55hrs local time (08:55 GMT) with FP2 at 14:05hrs (13:05 GMT). Saturday’s all-important Qualifying starts at 14:10hrs (13:10 GMT) to determine grid positions for Sunday’s race, which gets underway at 14:00hrs (13:00 GMT).
“I’m happy to get back to Europe and to go to Jerez; it’s a track I like and although it is not my home race we are in Spain and I will have extra support from the home fans. The circuit could be good for us because the straight is not so long, allowing us to better exploit the advantages that come from our effective chassis. At the last races we experienced some issues, but they may also be related to the circuits we were at, so I’m looking forward to test the GSX-RR in Jerez to see how it goes. The team, both on track and at home in Japan, is working hard to support me in finding the best confidence with the bike. I believe we can pursue our objective to get well into the points again and hopefully be into the top eight.”
“I have good memories from Jerez. I’ve had some very good races there and I like the track, which should also be better for our machines than Austin and Termas de Rio Hondo. For sure racing in Spain is something emotional; there will be a lot of supporters and this will give me more ‘push’ to perform well. We know our strengths and our weaknesses so we will immediately start to test some improvements in the set-up and see how my GSX-RR will be at this particular circuit. On my side I know that as usual I will need to reset my reference points on the track and to make new ones according to the improving performance of the MotoGP machine, but my Suzuki has shown to be very adaptable; therefore the one that will have the most to do is me.”