Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró put in strong performances on their Team SUZUKI ECSTAR GSX-RRs at today’s Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón MotoGP in Spain after having led the race for several laps.
Viñales – choosing a hard/ hard Michelin tyre combination – took the lead on the opening of 23 laps at Motorland Aragon from his second position on the grid, and, apart from losing his lead a few times momentarily, controlled the race until almost half race-distance before running wide, but fought back to bring home a solid fourth-place and just off the podium.
Espargaró – using a medium front/ hard rear tyre choice – was also very much in the mix with the leading pack and at one stage moved to fifth position, eventually scoring seventh.
Maverick Viñales: I gave 100%
“Another positive race for me, although I’m never fully satisfied when I’m off the podium, but we must say that we gave 100% today. When the grip was supporting me I could do a really good pace, and in fact I took the lead in the race. I felt really confident and the lap-times came quickly and easily. Then suddenly the rear tyre lost performance due to the consumption and that is when I had to give-it-up a little. I couldn’t feel confident with hard-braking and also in acceleration, and trying to force the pace I made some mistakes that warned me to be more conservative in my riding. It was important to not have a crash and to finish the race; fourth is a lot better than a ‘NC.’ We knew I could have problems towards the end of the race with a worn tyre, we tried to put in some countermeasures with the electronics, but we still need to better-develop this set-up. We are continually learning and my crew did a really good job, we are getting better and better and the results in last races are evidence on this.”
Aleix Espargaró: It was too late
“I had bigger expectations for the race, especially to be more competitive at the beginning because the progress we made in this morning’s Warm-Up gave me bigger hopes. The start was positive but then I struggled a lot to overtake for the fifth position in the second part of the race, which was the one needed to keep in contact with the head of the race. When I succeeded it was too late to catch up. Anyway my feeling was a little better than last races but I still struggle to find a good feeling with the front. I’m not able to interpret the front tyre and exploit its potential. We made a lot of attempts and changes but I can’t adapt my riding style and so I cannot be as fast as I would like to be. I had a really good fight until the end, but finally I made a small mistake on the last lap and I lost sixth position.”
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko