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Espargaro: “A good recovery from the bad feeling we had”

Espargaro: “A good recovery from the bad feeling we had”

Fifth place in Austin sees Aleix Espargaro secure his best ever finish with Team Suzuki Ecstar and improve his feeling with the GSX-RR.

The opening two rounds of the 2016 MotoGP™ World Championship were a torturous affair for Aleix Espargaro who struggled for confidence aboard his Suzuki. Austin saw the balance begin to shift as the Spaniard started to lap more like his old self. Opting for the softer option tyres in the front and rear, Espargaro made a flying start to the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas and jumped from ninth on the grid to fourth on the first lap. He stuck with the leading riders for as long as he could but was eventually caught by Team Suzuki Ecstar teammate Maverick Viñales. It was close and hard racing between the two with Viñales eventually getting past to take fourth. A fifth place finish is still Espargaro’s best finish since joining Suzuki in 2015 and his first top ten of the year, having twice taken 11th in the opening two races.

Even better than the fifth place was Espargaro’s improved speed on the GSX-RR. A number of setting changes over the course of the weekend saw him find what he had been missing during the start of the season. With the right direction now found, Espargaro and his crew chief, Tom O’Kane, will remain in Austin for a day of testing.

Aleix Espargaro: “Finally this has been a very positive race, a good recovery from the bad feeling we had in Qatar and Argentina. I managed to make a good start and to find a fast pace. I tried to keep it and the final result is good. For the whole weekend we worked hard to finalise the set-up with the softer tyre and I knew that my advantage would have been at the beginning of the race; and this is why I tried to start very fast and take as much advantage as I could in the early laps. Then the performance dropped, which was normal, and we finally managed to get a fifth place; which is a good result. Of course I would like to get even better, but we have made important steps forward and we still have the chance to improve. With Tom, my Crew Chief, we already have some ideas about the set-up to try to find a better traction, which at the moment is our biggest issue. Tomorrow, we will try to work on them.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2016, RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS, RAC, Aleix Espargaro, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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