Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaro on the pace in opening practice at Motegi
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró both made strong starts to the Motul Grand Prix of Japan at Twin Ring Motegi today with third and sixth fastest times respectively.
Following the morning’s opening practice session, both GSX-RR riders shaved more-than a second from their lap-times in this afternoon’s FP2, Viñales securing third position with a time of 1’45.248 and Espargaró sixth on 1’45.513.
Both riders have found positive feelings in this first day of MotoGP™ practice, highlighting the improvements made since last year; and the improved performance of the GSX-RR allowed them to put their names consistently in the highest places of the classification, showing that the machine more adaptable to the tricky stop-and-go layout of the Motegi circuit.
I feel very good, today we have worked very hard with the tyres to prepare for the race and the results are positive. We still need to work on the rear to find a good set-up that could allow me to save the tyre until the end of the race. My team did a very good job, I can feel the improvements we have done throughout the season in being more effective in the adaptation of set-up and electronics between the sessions, our learning and adaptation process is getting faster and faster, allowing me to make big steps. For tomorrow we will work to find an even better feeling with the rear, improving acceleration, focusing on the electronics configuration, and then try a good time attack which is a thing we didn’t focus on today.”
“I’m satisfied with the day as my feeling is good, this is not a track I’ve felt fast on in the past but today I got a positive outcome. Already in the morning I felt confident and in the afternoon I could improve even more, we are working very hard and this is paying back. Also I’m expecting to be even faster tomorrow, today I had to work a lot on the lines as the track had some tricky conditions in some points; it’s a learning process that gave me some hints already but still leaves me room for improvement.”