11 April 2015
MotoGP Austin: Espargaro optimistic despite Suzuki chatter issue
'This frame is unbelievable and you can push and push in the corners and it turns more and more and this is why I'm so happy, because when we have more power... we'll be really close' - Aleix Espargaro
Suzuki's Aleix Espargaro put the Suzuki GSX-RR onto row three for the Austin MotoGP in Texas despite continuing to battle rear chatter problems.
The Spaniard lapped in 2m 02.869s, joining Ducati's Andrea Iannone and Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Pol Espargaro on the third row.
Espargaro said the chatter issue is slightly improved from Qatar, but it remains an area that requires more work.
“When I touched the throttle in the fast corners the rear was jumping a lot and with the soft it is worse because we have more grip, so for me I think it is better with the hard tyre and with the soft we have more chattering,” he said.
“We have to try to understand what is happening and we are maybe one step better than in Qatar but still this is our problem.
“The team is working really hard but the thing is we are not in the limit with what we have and obviously we are really down in the power. We still have room to improve with the chattering problem and every session I feel better,” he added.
“We are really close, we are down a lot on power, but we are really close to the top guys, so we have to be ready – me and my team – and the Japanese will find the power, which I think they want more than me!”
Espargaro's team is working hard to improve the chatter problem but the rider himself remains full of optimism, particularly so given his satisfaction with the Suzuki's chassis.
“We have tried a lot of different things [to fix the chatter issue], we tried to change the geometry and although we improved a little bit from Qatar, it is not enough,” he said.
“I'm really happy with this project and I'm really focused and my team is the best team I ever had in my life, so this is helping a lot.
“This frame is unbelievable and you can push and push in the corners and it turns more and more and this is why I'm so happy, because when we have more power we can enjoy and we'll be really close,” he added.
Asked for his thoughts if Sunday's race should be run in wet weather, Espargaro said he was still trying to understand the GSX-RR but regardless of the conditions, his objective is to challenge satellite riders including Cal Crutchlow, Bradley Smith and his brother Pol.
“The session was not so bad yesterday [in the rain] but obviously I need to understand more the bike and the team needs to understand a little bit more the geometry; the electronics was not working as I wanted yesterday and we need more time,” said Espargaro.
“One week to the other we will not be able to fight for the podium and our objective is to try to be with [Cal] Crutchlow, [Bradley] Smith and Pol [Espargaro] and I feel we are really close or even better than them.
“In Qatar they were four or five seconds faster than me in the race and in the race tomorrow I have to be close or even faster than them.”
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