16 March 2015
MotoGP: Espargaro upbeat on Suzuki prospects for Qatar
'We already know that we have a good chassis and we made good steps forward in electronics; further technical improvements will come but now it's time to find a good pace with the package that we have, which is already positive' - Aleix Espargaro
Suzuki Ecstar's Aleix Espargaro believes the GSX-RR is capable of delivering an impressive result when the 2015 MotoGP Championship gets underway in Qatar.
Espargaro and team-mate Maverick Vinales could have done without the final night of the pre-season test at Losail being curtailed for safety reasons after rain showers at the desert venue, but Espargaro is confident the Suzuki package is already sufficient to enable him to be competitive at the opening race.
The Spanish rider was an excellent fourth fastest on the first night of the test but dropped to a respectable tenth quickest overall on the combined times, lapping in 1m 55.698s, which was 0.791s off the top time recorded by Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati.
Espargaro said: “Unfortunately today we couldn't test because of the rain, which is pretty weird since we are supposed to be in the desert. We had some work to do and it is a pity we couldn't, but at the same time we are pretty confident about our condition.
“We know we can still improve and we have directions where we know we can go, but now it's time to go racing because this is what we're here for.
“We will make some final testing during the first day here in Qatar, but we are already pretty confident we can perform well,” he added.
“We already know that we have a good chassis and we made good steps forward in electronics; further technical improvements will come but now it's time to find a good pace with the package that we have, which is already positive. I really can't wait to get into the races.”
Series rookie Vinales, 14th fastest over the two days of testing in Qatar, is still building his experience of a MotoGP machine and was more disappointed than his team-mate with the unexpected outcome on Monday.
“I'm disappointed for today's rain, I'm a rookie and I need to ride my GSX-RR as much as possible to get familiar with it,” he said. “It's not really a problem of technical improvements that could have been tested, it is more a matter of experience and feeling.
“Anyway, we are all here for racing, not for only testing, so I'm happy that the next time I take to the track it will be a real preparation for the race,” said Vinales.
“We have positive feelings about this, will work on all the data we collected and will try to be consistent with the hard tyre, which means being competitive in race.”
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