Aleix Espargaro was more than happy with the pace of Suzuki's GSX-RR MotoGP machine at Jerez as a 'stupid, small' change to the machine eradicated the machine's chatter woes.
The elder Espargaro brother ended Friday with the second fastest time courtesy of his effort on a soft tyre in the morning FP1 session.
It was, however, his pace on the same used soft tyre in the afternoon that really pleased the 25-year old.
“I'm quite happy with the performance in the first day at Jerez,” he said. “This morning we were fast, but I felt not really good with the bike. [It] was not turning and there was definitely a bad feeling. In the afternoon we completely changed the bike, because this morning we started with the set up of the test we had in November, but in the afternoon, we changed to our set up of the last races, and I felt much better.
The bike is turning good, we did a really good pace. We saw that the track was really slippery, and we were not able to put in the times, so we didn't use a new soft tire, which make me very happy, because with a used soft tire, we did a really good time. So yes, really happy. We have changed a little bit both tires at this track, which is a bit strange, but we have time tomorrow to decide.”
Speaking of the changes made to solve the chatter issues, Espargaro was tight lipped on the exact cause of the problem. His feeling with the machine was better than he had anticipated.
“Really happy we solved this, because Suzuki did a great job, they tried something new in Japan and it works there, they bring it here, and it works here, and it's much much better. At least today, we have no chattering, so yeah, I hope we can continue working like this, it is much better to ride the bike, the pace is much better than the last races, so really happy.
It's something different. When they told me when I arrived on Wednesday, it was difficult for me to think that this was the solution. But yes, it works, it's fantastic. Sometimes stupid, small things change a lot when you are really in the limit, and it works a lot, it works fantastic. At least in Jerez, first day, FP1, FP2, no chattering at all, zero percent so really happy.”
Espargaro continued with the worn softer option tyre on Friday afternoon as track temperatures touched 45 degrees in places. It is, he believes, a definite option for the race after receiving positive feedback throughout the session.
“In the afternoon, we saw that the tarmac was really hot, and nobody improved the times, we decided to not use a new soft tire. We try because the Bridgestone guys tell us that maybe at this track we can race with the soft, because I used here last year, I use all session the soft of this morning, and it was fantastic, it was really good, I was able to do a really really good pace, and we did 20 laps on the tire, I'm really happy, because no chattering, and the bike's turning, the tire's not dropping, so really happy with the second session.”