Tough but positive qualifying day at Le Mans for Aleix Espargaro & Maverick Viñales

 In MotoGP, News

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The second day in Le Mans was a hard one for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and its riders as they prepare for tomorrow’s French Grand Prix.

In the morning’s session Aleix Espargaro suffered a heavy crash while he was testing his extra-soft tyre, resulting in a high-side that required an immediate medical check. Luckily he hadn’t suffered any major injuries, but the crash did give him a lot of pain in his lower back and his right hand. His will to race still saw him take to the track for FP4 and qualifying, finally entering Q2 and gaining 10th place on the grid for tomorrow thanks to his 1’33.665s lap.

Maverick Viñales did a good job during the whole day, getting closer and closer to the top-10. After FP3 he missed direct access to Q2 by only 0.027s. In Q1 he pushed hard to enter the fight for the top 12 positions, but he finally finished Q1 in third place which gave him 13th place on tomorrow’s grid, with the time of 1’34.245.

Aleix Espargaro:
“I think we’ve been very lucky today. The crash was very hard and I was lucky I didn’t have any major injuries. I still feel painful and I probably have some issues with a ligament in my hand, but I’m eager to race because – strange to say – I feel very good with the bike. Although this is not one of my best tracks I must say that our set-up is very effective, probably one of the best we’ve ever had so far. Of course the crash prevented me to fight for a better position, but in my opinion we can make a good race. In the middle of Q2 I decided to stop because we had to preserve the hard tyres, which are the ones with which I felt better and we will use in the race and also to let the hand recover faster: to gain one or two places in qualifying wasn’t as important as to concentrate on the race ahead of us tomorrow.”

Maverick Viñales:
“The weather was strange, with difficult conditions, and for us I’m not totally satisfied. I know we can do much, much better, but we are still a young team – I’m a rookie – and we still have room for improvement in better understanding how to exploit the practice: maybe by making the fast lap attack earlier. But for tomorrow I feel confident because I have a good pace. I like the track and I know I can perform better, especially in fighting for positions during the race.”

Source: Suzuki

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