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Espargaro: “We decided to change the bike a lot”

Espargaro: “We decided to change the bike a lot”

Three crashes prompt Aleix Espargaro and his Team Suzuki Ecstar crew to radically change his GSX-RR during the Valencia Test.

Two days of testing in Valencia saw Aleix Espargaro begin adapting to the new for 2016 Michelin tyres. The MotoGP™ field will not only have new tyres in 2016, but also a new electronics package designed by Magneti Marelli which is designed to gives teams such as Suzuki a more even playing field to battle the racing giants that are Honda and Yamaha. However, Espargaro focused simply on adjusting his riding style and his GSX-RR to the new tyres with Aoki and Tsuda, the Japanese Suzuki Test Team, working on the electronics. Espargaro’s adaption to the Michelin tyres was not as easy as he had hoped unfortunately, the Team Suzuki Ecstar rider crashing three times in two days.

The final crash prompted a rather radical change of setting, the new balance of the bike giving Espargaro an improved feeling. It is clear that the rear Michelin is an excellent tyre with ample grip, but many riders are finding the change of front difficult to handle. On his 44th lap of 55 on the second day Aleix Espargaro set a 1’31.212 to end the test as the fourth fastest rider, both Team Suzuki Ecstar riders within the top five and showing early promise. Suzuki will now head to a private test in Sepang in late November before returning to the circuit in February for the official Sepang test.

Aleix Espargaro: “This second day was positive as well, this morning I struggled to find a good feeling and finally I also crashed; my third time in these two days, and so with my crew we decided to change the bike a lot to see how it reacted. The new balance gave me better feeling, I can exploit the extreme grip of the rear and also exploit the front better, which was the weak point yesterday. Indeed, it is still something that we have to improve, we know more and more about the tyres’ characteristics and now we will start to apply modifications to the geometry and set-up to see how it goes. We already have some directions and the test we will do in Sepang in a couple of weeks will be very useful. I am also curious to try the new software. At the end of the day I must say I’m happy following this first test with Michelin, there are so many areas that can be improved but my feeling is already positive.”

MotoGP, 2016, VALENCIA MOTOGP™ OFFICIAL TEST, T2, Aleix Espargaro

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5 years ago