13 April 2015
MotoGP Austin: Eighth not good enough for Suzuki, says Espargaro
'I can't say I'm totally satisfied with the final position... I still believe that eighth place is not where this team and bike deserves to be' - Aleix Espargaro
Suzuki Ecstar's Aleix Espargaro said he has higher expectations than eighth place for the GSX-RR following a solid ride in Sunday's Austin MotoGP.
Espargaro finished two seconds behind LCR Honda's Cal Crutchlow at the Circuit of the Americas and 19 seconds ahead of team-mate and premier class rookie Maverick Vinales, but believes the Suzuki has the potential to be finishing much higher up the order.
“I can't say I'm totally satisfied with the final position, for sure we closed the gap to the winner and this means we did better than in Qatar, but I still believe that eighth place is not where this team and bike deserves to be,” said Espargaro, who was 19 seconds behind race winner Marc Marquez.
“The weekend has been very variable and we experienced a lot of chattering at the rear of the bike, similar to what we had during the Qatar race. The team worked really hard to fix this problem; with both set-up, electronics and whatever could help, but we couldn't find the proper solution.
“However the important thing is that we are constantly improving,” he added. “I know I have support from the factory and the team and this finally led to an improvement compared to our first race, so we need to be patient and consistent and take as many points as we can in every race.”
Espargaro, who finished 11th on his race debut on the Suzuki in Qatar, matched his qualifying position of eighth in the race in Texas.
In addition to a lack of top-end speed, the Suzuki riders have been struggling with chatter problems and team director Satoru Terada said further development work would be carried out with the support of the factory in Japan.
“This weekend has been positive for us because we have got into the top 10 with both riders and we improved the performance that we had in Qatar,” he said.
“This means we are progressing well, although during this weekend we have experienced some issues that need to be investigated.
“Our bikes lack some power, as we already know, but at the moment we are experiencing also some chatter problems, especially at the rear.
“We have tried several improvements but for the moment we need to investigate still further, aided by the support of the factory in Japan,” Terada added.
“I want to thank the riders who made an excellent race and the whole team, which is demonstrating to be both professional and well prepared.”
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