This weekend's final pre-season test is now all that separates Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales from their Suzuki MotoGP race debuts.

Adding even further importance is that the test takes place at the same Losail circuit where the opening round of the season will be held, under floodlights, on March 26-29.

That event will be Suzuki's first race as a full time MotoGP entry since 2011.

"We were all looking forward for this final test in Qatar," said team manager Davide Brivio. "It will be very close to the race therefore we will face real race conditions and see how our bikes and riders can improve further.

"In Malaysia we had pretty encouraging results: both riders are happy with the bikes and we had positive improvements in set-ups and electronics. In Losail we will test the final version of the software, which will be used in early races, and we will work mainly to get ready for opening GP of Qatar."

Despite a horsepower disadvantage relative to their rivals, Espargaro was tenth fastest (+1.160s) at the end of the Sepang tests.

"I can't wait to get rolling in Qatar," said last year's Open class champion. "We have been testing the GSX-RR only in Malaysia and I'm very curious to see how it behaves on other circuits. We will work hard to get ready for the race, we will probably test some long runs with the main objective of finding the best set-up and as much data as we can.

"In Sepang I tried some new fairings and we will probably get some more evolutions on this, as well as consolidating the huge job we made on the traction control, which has already given good results. I've trained a lot during last past few days, my knee [injured during winter training] is not 100% fit yet, but I'm very eager to test my bike on this track because I like it very much."

Rookie team-mate Vi?ales has been impressively close to Espargaro in testing, the 20-year-old setting a best lap time just a few tenths slower at Sepang.

"I like the Losail circuit, I have won and got some podiums so I'm curious to test my MotoGP machine and compare it to my previous experiences," said the former Moto3 champion and Moto2 race winner. "I'm still learning how to manage the GSX-RR and how to help my engineers to tailor it to my needs, but I feel that both the bike and I are improving very quickly.

"In Qatar we will work to find a good set-up for the race, which is the most important thing since we don't have any reference. The electronics have been greatly improved at Sepang and we can rely on this, moving forward to find a good set-up and be competitive on a single lap as well as the overall pace."

The Qatar test takes place from Saturday to Monday.



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