Aleix Espargaro qualifies 10th at Silverstone, Maverick Viñales 13th
Qualifying day at the Silverstone MotoGP ended with both Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders settled at the head of the fourth and fifth-rows for tomorrow’s British GP.
Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales struggled to find a good feeling with their GSX-RRs, although they made solid progress compared to yesterday; and for Aleix for recent races.
The Silverstone circuit was not one of the most suitable for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s machines but both crews worked hard to find effective set-ups. There is still room for improvement to stay-up with the top competitors, and the competition today was very high with the circuit lap-record beaten many times.
In the morning session both Espargaro and Viñales did effective jobs with their machines, improving their lines around the circuit and set-ups and so improving their best lap-times. The preparation work for the race was taken forward another step, but the fast time-attack in qualifying was important as well. At the end, neither rider could get into the top-10, therefore having to fight in Q1 to access qualifying for the top-three rows.
In Q1 both Suzukis headed the session by four-tenths-of-a-second until the very last lap when Yonny Hernandez topped the classification, pushing Viñales into 13th place by only 0.006s.
In Q2 Espargaro fought hard to improve his performance and find the best place available on the grid and his efforts finally led to the 2’01.880-lap that gave him 10th place overall.
“Looking at the positive things, I must say that I’m happy with the progress I’ve made, it was very important for me to get back some confidence and we have made good steps forward on this side. Unfortunately this was not enough to get a good position on the grid. Today I lack a lot in acceleration and in traction out of the corners, the bike moves around a lot and the bumps in the track do not help. We have some ideas to work on for tomorrow and will probably find a set-up that can give me confidence. At the same time we will see what the weather will be as it could mix the cards up once again.”
“Sad to say that today wasn’t so good. I missed Q2 by only 0.006s but this is not as relevant as the feeling we have with the bike. We have some issues with the machine, the acceleration, stability and traction so we have to find a solution. The race will be very hard, starting from behind in itself is not good; and I hope that tonight my mechanics will find some improvements. For sure we have the potential; today we simply couldn’t exploit its best but I’m confident for tomorrow.”