Aleix Espargaro feels his progress with the factory Suzuki came too late in the season as the Spaniard gears up for his final outing on the GSX-RR at Valencia in Spain.
Espargaro, who like team-mate Maverick Vinales will head for pastures new in 2017 after signing a deal to join Aprilia, was left frustrated with his performances until he finally began to develop a better understanding with the Suzuki in the final third of the championship.
The 27-year-old believes ultimately it was too little, too late, but Espargaro hopes to finish his association with Suzuki by securing a positive result in Spain on Sunday.
“The last races have not been the best in terms of final result, but looking at the performance and the competitiveness, we can be happy and proud. In the last months, I managed to find a lot better feeling with the bike, we improved the settings a lot and my riding style took advantage of this, resulting in being able to fight for top positions,� he said.
“This is a first step towards the place where I think we deserve to be, although unfortunately it arrived late in the season. The hard work we've done should deserve a positive result, both for me, the team and the Suzuki factory.
“Valencia is a circuit we know, although conditions will be different from the test we did, but I think we can find an effective configuration for the machine and be competitive.�
Espargaro is 11 points outside the top ten in the championship and currently occupies 11th place behind factory Ducati rider Andrea Iannone.