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Sepang MotoGP Test: Espargaro tempers expectations of Suzuki

Suzuki MotoGP rider Aleix Espargaro realistic on his expectations of the new GSX-RR as testing begins at Sepang in Malaysia
Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro says the beginning of the Sepang MotoGP test panned out as he expected as the Spanish rider continues to get to grips with the new GSX-RR.

Espargaro was 14th fastest on the time sheets, 1.963s off the top lap set by reigning world champion Marc Marquez on the Repsol Honda with a time of 2m 02.225s.

However, last year's Open class winner isn't expecting miracles on Suzuki's return to the premier class for the first time since 2012.

“It was a good first day because we knew before we arrived that this is maybe the worst moment for us. I know that during the winter they worked really hard to understand the problems we had with the engines in Valencia and also Jerez with Randy [de Puniet],” said Espargaro.

“They did a great job because [Takuya] Tsuda and Nobu [Aoki, test riders] did a lot of laps at the last days here and also Maverick [Vinales] and me today, and we had no problem. So this is a good step forward.

“Obviously now we need to work to have more power but it is not something we will receive in one or two days. Today we focused on the frame. [We] tried to understand a little bit more and change some things. Also [we] tried to get a better communication with my group because everybody is new,” he added.

“With Tom O'Kane I'm really happy. He is a really, really good crew chief. It's really easy to work with him and he has a lot of experience. I'm trying to get the group as a family and understand the bike.”

Espargaro feels the Suzuki is a much better match for his riding style compared to the Open class Forward Yamaha he rode last season, comparing the frame on both machines as like 'day and night'.

“The frame is the exactly the same as Valencia. It's day and night if we compare with my bike last year [Forward Yamaha]. It is a lot better to brake and change direction, but last year's bike was a little more stable in the fast corners,” he said.

“Definitely I think for my riding style this bike suits me better. You can be more aggressive and I like it a lot.”

Looking ahead to his prospects for the second day of the test on Thursday, Espargaro hopes to make some ground on the issue of rear wheelspin with the GSX-RR.

“We lose a lot of time with rear wheelspin, this is the main issue. So we will focus on getting more grip on the rear tyre and we will see if we improve this,” he said.

“There are 25 riders so obviously I made a couple of laps with other riders and the [power] difference is really, really big. But we knew this and it is stupid to think of this all the time. Suzuki wants the power as much as me, so we have to be patient.

“We know the first part of the season will not be easy but let's try to use as much as we can what we have now.”

Tagged as: Espargaro , de puniet , Marquez

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February 04, 2015 5:10 PM

Some people have no patience give the team a minute to gather themselves. It is obvious they have work ahead of them but this is MOToGP you cannot throw a ton of money at something a be competitive right away. it's methodical steps and it is up too us as fans to support and enjoy the good, the bad and the ugly....


February 04, 2015 3:42 PM

Still early days but as I said in the previous Suzuki articles.....10th in the final 2015 standings will be their best bet.... Not the odd top 7 on a good day for them couple with a bad day for the top 9....but over all. I expect 2016 to be the year they step up closer to the top 6... I asked everyone to be realistic since this is a brand new bike and they had a lot of reliability issues to resolve first before making the thing faster..... Good news is the chassis seems suited to Esparago and if they can keep this feeling as they get more power they will be alright...

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