MotoGP »

Valencia MotoGP Test: Espargaro impressed by Suzuki handling

Suzuki's new MotoGP recruit impressed with the GSX-RR's manoeuvrability although recognises the need for greater top speed
Aleix Espargaro was full of praise for his new Suzuki machine after posting some impressive times on his debut aboard the factory's GSX-RR bike in the first day of MotoGP testing at Valencia.

The first rider to take to the track on Monday morning, Espargaro finished the day in 14th place, 1.3 seconds behind Jorge Lorenzo's fastest time. Speaking at the end of the day the 25-year old was delighted with the handling of the GSX-RR's frame and insisted the electronics exceeded his initial expectations.

“The frame is fantastic and the electronics are better,” Espargaro said. “The front is turning a lot and the bike is a lot smaller, more than last year's bike [Forward Yamaha]. And the weight too. I think this bike will be around ten kilos less than last year so it is really easy to move, really easy to change direction. Also the position is really different.

"I find it really easy to turn the bike and also my riding style last year and the year on the Superbike was more or less the same. But today it was really different. I can lean more and [put] my body more outside the bike. This is really good. We can do a lot more speed than what we did in the corners because, like I say, the frame is fantastic.”

Espargaro admits he and the team need to find a more comfortable riding position to accommodate his five foot eleven inch frame, which is in contrast to the Suzuki's compact design.

“We need to change a lot of things. For example my foot touches the exhaust, the level [of the bike] is too short. But this is normal because I am really tall. I feel good on the bike, we need to change a couple of things but this is why we are testing.”

When quizzed on the GSX-RR's biggest disadvantage at present Espargaro said, “In the top speed – the power. They know this before I arrived. We need to improve the acceleration a lot. [On corner exit] I have a little bit of wheelie so we lose out on the acceleration. [Also] The engine braking is not so good. [But] I'm really happy because with the power we have we were competitive on the first day. I'm sure that by Qatar we will have more.”

His final time of 1m 32.3secs was two tenths of a second faster than Suzuki test rider Randy De Puniet's best lap from the Valencia race weekend. Espargaro added that he and the Frenchman have been in regular contact.

“We are friends because last year we were team-mates [at Aspar],” he said. “Before this test we talk a lot, yesterday and today also. The comments are similar. We improve a little bit on the traction control and the power delivery. The feeling is similar. They did a really great job with the winter testing so the feeling is good.”

One change under consideration in the Suzuki garage is a different fairing, to accommodate Espargaro's frame. The Spaniard revealed the team have several options to combat their aerodynamic difficulties.

“I don't know. I feel a lot of wind on the head. I already tell them and I think maybe we need to change the fairing or to change the springs but for sure we have something in mind.”

Espargaro joins Suzuki's returning MotoGP team having finished overall seventh, as the leading Open class rider, in this year's world championship. Rookie team-mate Maverick Vinales was less than one second behind Espargaro's best Monday lap.

Tagged as: Suzuki , Espargaro

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Aleix Espargaro, Valencia MotoGP Test 2014
Crutchlow, Australian MotoGP 2016
Reddng, Petrucci, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden after crash, Australian MotoGP 2016
jones, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Petrucci Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Barbera, Smith Australian MotoGP 2016
Hayden, Miller Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Pol Espargaro, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Rossi, Australian MotoGP 2016
Bradl, Hayden, Australian MotoGP 2016
Lorenzo, Australian MotoGP 2016
Redding, Australian MotoGP 2016
Dovizioso, Australian MotoGP 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


November 10, 2014 8:17 PM

great to hear. the have enough to do but it seems suz is on the right way with the frame, electronics were better than at forward yamaha if i read correct. Great picture btw looks really good. Go suz Go AE

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.