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MotoGP: Vinales gets debut with Suzuki seamless gearbox

"I'm also happy I could test the new seamless, we were expecting it and my impression is very positive" - Maverick Vinales.
Maverick Vinales made his debut on Suzuki's seamless shift gearbox during the team's private MotoGP test at Sepang.

Suzuki finished the 2015 season as the only manufacturer without the technology, which allows for quicker and smoother gear changes, but confirmed it would be present on next year's GSX-RR.

The seamless debut perhaps explains why Suzuki opted to test at Sepang rather than alongside Honda, Ducati and Aprilia at Jerez later this week.

Suzuki's other main aims for the test were to work on the new single ECU software - which Vinales and team-mate Aleix Espargaro did not use at the previous Valencia outing - as well as some new chassis parts and further track time on Michelin tyres.

“These two days have been very intense; we tested many many things and I'm happy because I could try the 2016 electronics," Vinales said of the test. "The first touch was positive and it left me with the feeling that it has a great potential, but we still have so many things to work on and there's room to improve.

"I'm also happy I could test the new seamless, we were expecting it and my impression is very positive. The track was not really clean which meant I couldn't push really hard, but for our team the testing was good. Now we have plenty of information to work on during the winter and get ready for the next test in February.

"To go for the winter break with such a good feeling is positive and it gives me great hopes for the further improvements. Now I can take a little rest and then start training again to be ready for the next tests in February.”

Vinales was supported at the two-day test by factory development riders Takuya Tsuda and Nobuatsu Aoki. Espargaro was absent after suffering a 'flexion fracture to a vertebrae' during training.

“These have been two very intense days but the outcome of the test is positive," declared team manager Davide Brivio. "We had few things to test, among which we managed to test the new seamless gearbox and I am happy that Maverick had a first positive impression.

“We also had the chance to compare some chassis parts and gathered important information for the winter development. We also started to work with the 2016 unified software - the test team already started with it in Valencia a couple of weeks ago - and we also gave it to Maverick.

“On this area we still have much work to do but the start was positive. For us this test has been very important to give the directions to work-on in the winter that we were called to do. We also tested new tyres for Michelin and found some good improvements to be worked on further in the future.

“In February we will be testing here again for the first IRTA test and we will try to finalise then even further improvements, especially in electronics.

“Unfortunately, Aleix could not join us so he will have a chance to test those items in February, hopefully after further improvements. We also had the support of our test riders Tsuda and Aoki who ran many laps to further investigate the new software and fine-tune the seamless gearbox.”

Suzuki did not release any lap times. The MotoGP winter test ban begins on December 1.

Tagged as: Suzuki , Vinales

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November 24, 2015 1:42 PM

Maverick (don't you just love that name!) is one of the best young riders in MotoGP. I also think that once Alex Rins makes his way up there is going to be some real good stuff going on!

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