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12 days ago
By Team Suzuki Ecstar

Espargaro: “I really wanted to have a great race”

Another difficult home race for Aleix Espargaro who fails to finish for the second year running.

"Maybe to decide to race the weekend in Catalunya with the evolution chassis was not the best choice for me" Aleix Espargaro

Having claimed pole position for the Catalan GP in 2015, many were expecting Aleix Espargaro (Team Suzuki Ecstar) to be up challenging for the front once again. But despite the GSX-RR having made clear steps forward, Espargaro never showed the pace to challenge up the front. Starting in 13th, he did all he could to get up inside the top ten but electrical and tyre issues ruined another home race. The combination of traction control problems and high trye consumption was an impossible situation to solve and forced him to retire from the race seven laps from the end. This is Espargaro’s first DNF of the year and ends a run of four straight top tens.

Aleix Espargaro: “Unfortunately during the race I had electronic issues that prevented me finishing. There was an unusual intervention of the traction control which prevented the bike delivering the power we had, and lap-after-lap, with the consumption of the tyres, the situation got worse and worse, until I had to stop. It’s a pity, I feel at home in Montmelò and I really wanted to have a great race. Unfortunately, we couldn’t be really competitive the whole weekend, we still need to work and get a better feeling, the test will be very important in this sense. Let’s try to forget this race, focus on the job and think ahead to Assen, which is one of my best tracks.”

Monday’s post race test offered Aleix Espargaro some relief, able to end the day with the fifth fastest time and 0.754s back on the fastest time. Team Suzuki Ecstar used the day to verify the data they had found during the weekend and continue assessing the new chassis they debuted during a test in Valencia. During the course of the day Espargaro’s crew were able to understand what had caused the issue during the race. Now they head to Assen with a better understanding of tyre management, which should help to prevent a repeat incident. Espargaro looks set to revert to the older frame.

“This test has been positive because it allowed us to understand many, many things. First of all, we could re-analyse what happened yesterday and take advantage of this and learn from it. Then, we again made a comparison between the standard chassis and the evolution one; the one we already tested in Valencia two weeks ago. Maybe to decide to race the weekend in Catalunya with the evolution chassis was not the best choice for me, because today we spent the morning with it and I felt the same problems I felt during the weekend, then in the afternoon we got back to the standard chassis with new settings and I immediately felt more comfortable and the lap time dropped quickly. This was very helpful to decide which path to take for the next race in Assen. We did many laps today which were very helpful for the new settings and electronics improvements.”