Aleix Espargaro was quick to praise the effects of the winglets fitted to his Suzuki for the first time at Jerez as the Spaniard finished an impressive third fastest in FP2.
Espargaro came from sixth place through to third on his final lap in the afternoon session on the GSX-RR, lapping in 1m 40.093s as he finished half-a-second down on Jorge Lorenzo.
The Spaniard was riding with small wings on his MotoGP machine and felt a noticeable difference at some of the faster turns.
“In Sito Pons for example, it's the corner where you feel the most and you can also have a little bit less anti-wheelie,” he said.
“You can have a little bit less wheelie control so it means a little bit more power and more easy to ride the fast places: this track is not really a demanding track for the winglets but when we go to Mugello for example or Aragon, some fast tracks, it will be something very good.
“MotoGP is a really demanding bike, physically also, so the winglets let you push the bike a little bit more to the asphalt so it's more easy to ride,” Espargaro added.
“I think that on the corners where I felt more different today, for example Sit Pons, without the winglets you have movement in the front in the handlebars because the front tyre is not touching the asphalt, but with the winglets you have less movement because the tyre is just on the asphalt. I don't think these small winglets make a lot of pressure for the tyre.”
With Aprilia also fitting wings for the first time at Jerez, each of the factory teams have now used the aerodynamic aid and Espargaro feels it is up to Dorna to set a limit soon to restrict their size.
“Dorna will have to make a limit because if not, then one day somebody will arrive like Formula 1 and it can be dangerous. If you saw our winglets, they were very small and I think we need to know where is the limit,” he said.
“For me, the Yamaha winglets are so big and this can be dangerous, but I don't think our winglets can be dangerous.”
Espargaro says improvements with the power of the GSX-RR engine combined with a good chassis and more equal electronics have made the difference so far this year, rather than the Suzuki being particularly well suited to any specific track.
“I never think that one track is better or worse for one bike. It's more about the rider, if you like more the track or don't like. Our bike is getting more competitive race by race and the Suzuki engine improves a lot, but still not the best,” he said.
“In a track like this one, we have less disadvantage, but we have a good frame, the electronics are more similar and the engine is competitive.
“I don't like [2016 chassis], we tried in Austin and the difference per lap is not high – two or three tenths – and I was faster with the 2016, but the feeling is worse,” Espargaro added.
“I felt more close to losing the front, so I did five laps because the engineer asked me and then I say, 'okay, you can put in the box again'.”