The Japanese GP at Twin Ring Motegi Circuit is expected to be a poignant one in Suzuki Motor Corporation’s home country and will allow many of the factory’s engineers, technicians and developers to see with their own eyes the results of their efforts.
The circuit is considered favourable by both riders Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró, who will receive enthusiastic support from the local Suzuki fans and Viñales arrives in Japan full of enthusiasm after the positives from recent races; the Japanese GP will also be the young Spaniard’s 100th race in the World Championship. At the previous round in Aragon, Spain, he proved to be consistently-fast and capable of running with the fastest, having led the race for many laps and finally ending just a step off the podium. He also has a further incentive to perform well after his crash in last year’s race and wants to put in a positive performance for all the passionate Suzuki technicians from Suzuki’s Hamamatsu factory attending this the weekend.
Espargaró has undergone a strong training regime in preparation for the three fly-aways and is approaching the Japanese GP with full concentration and determination. Although his path to competitiveness has been hard recently, the weekend in Aragon proved that he can still be competitive and find good efficiency.
The GP of Japan will be raced on the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, a modern facility located among the vast natural beauty of the northern Kanto district. It consists of a 2.4 km (1.5 mile) oval – meant to introduce American motorsport culture to the country – and a 4.8 km (2.9 mile) road course, where the MotoGP™ race will take place, over a total distance of 24 laps (115.2 km – 71.5 miles.) The track the riders will be racing on takes in six left-hand corners and eight right-hand ones.
“My feeling for Motegi is very good, we are going to have a lot of support from fans and also the people coming to the race from the Suzuki factory. From my side I feel very confident, we are growing race after race and now we are aware that we can be competitive for the top positions in any race. It’s a good feeling, because it allows us to work with less pressure and keep the focus on our method. The machine has grown, but also our understanding of the electronics and the set-ups allow us to be more competitive. For sure in Motegi we will also take advantage to collect more information and transfer directly to the Japanese developers, it’s going to be a reward for their efforts but also a big injection of enthusiasm for them to push even further. Last year the rain complicated our weekend, so I’m happy that now we have different solutions to be competitive in the wet conditions.”
“Racing as a Factory rider for a Japanese brand means that when it’s time to go to Motegi the emotion increases a lot. The warmth from our Company will be a further push for a positive weekend; recently I haven’t been as competitive as I would have liked because I can’t understand how to exploit the front tyre yet. My team is doing a great job, the machine has grown a lot, but I still miss that something in my riding style that could allow me to get closer to the top. I’ve made a strong preparation for this race, as it will also be the first of a three-in-a-row series that will be very demanding physically and mentally, and my determination is at the top, I would really like to get an outstanding result with Suzuki before the end of the season, as a reward for all the effort we have made so far.”
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko