The second day of testing on the Losail International Circuit at Qatar today saw Team SUZUKI ECSTAR very busy trying several improvements to find the best direction to move forward tomorrow.
The final classification of today’s session saw 14 riders within less-than-a-second of each other, with both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales inside this group; meaning that the team’s development-plan is producing good results.
Both Team SUZUKI ECSTAR factory riders spent the day working mainly with hard tyres on their GSX-RRs in order to define the most competitive set-up to be used in the upcoming GP of Qatar in two weeks’ time.
Espargaro struggled to find good confidence with today’s set-up and couldn’t improve yesterday’s lap-time, closing the day in 12th position with 1:55.795, which was set in his 22nd of 33-laps.
Viñales continued with consistent improvements, and in his 31st of 42-laps, recorded 14th place with 1:55.810, more than three-tenths-of-a-second better than the first day.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“It’s been a very intense day today, we only have one-more session before the official GP weekend, therefore both the crews focused on testing different configurations of the two GSX-RRs to collect data and find the most effective ones. Aleix worked to find some more grip but he struggled, again he tested some improvements in electronics - some worked while some others didn’t - so the team has data to work on and will continue the work tomorrow.
“Maverick had to find his confidence back after the two crashes he had yesterday and he had a positive day. The positions in classification are not as good as yesterday, but there is a leading-group within less-than-a-second and we are in it again with the top riders.”
“Today I struggled to find a good feeling with the rear tyre. We tested different steps in electronics but we weren’t as effective as we expected. I still believe that the hard tyre is better than the soft one; there is not a big difference in terms of lap times but of course the soft gets worn pretty quickly. At the same time, today I didn’t feel confident with the hard, we tried to improve our performance but at the end of the day we saw that it got worst, so for tomorrow we will try some different configurations of the bike’s geometry, set-up and also electronics. We have still room for improvement with the traction control. It will be the last day of testing so we will also try a race simulation, but beforehand we have to fix the traction and grip problems we encountered today.”
“Today we really worked step-by-step, I wanted to keep calm and not to repeat the mistakes I did yesterday. My best lap is not so good because I had some issues with the front when we tried the soft tyre, but our main focus today was to test the hard tyre intensively which will be used in the race. We made many small changes to the bike to see its reactions and I also focused on refining my riding skills. The electronics are giving us a lot of indications and we have a new direction to look at. I’m pretty confident that tomorrow we will make a big-step forward and improve a lot.”
Track conditions: Air temperature 21°C, ground temperature 25°C.
Qatar test session, Day 2 classification:
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO, (Ducati Team) 1:54.907
2 Marc MARQUEZ, (Repsol Honda Team) 1:55.091 0.184
3 Andrea IANNONE (Ducati Team) 1:55.104 0.197
4 Jorge LORENZO (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) 1:55.500 0.593
5 Valentino ROSSI (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) 1:55.581 0.674
6 Dani PEDROSA (Repsol Honda Team) 1:55.582 0.675
7 Cal CRUTCHLOW (CWM LCR Honda) 1:55.624 0.717
8 Bradley SMITH (Yamaha Tech 3) 1:55.648 0.741
9 Pol ESPARGARO (Yamaha Tech 3) 1:55.658 0.751
10 Karel ABRAHAM (AB Motoracing) 1:55.765 0.858
11 Yonny HERNANDEZ (Pramac Racing) 1:55.772 0.865
12 Aleix ESPARGARO (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) 1:55.795 0.888
13 Scott REDDING (Estrella Galicia 0.0 Marc VDS) 1:55.803 0.896
14 Maverick VIÑALES (Team SUZUKI ECSTAR) 1:55.810 0.903