MotoGP – Suzukis crack top 10 at COTA

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Suzuki enjoyed a sensation return to form at the Circuit of The Americas with both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales in the top 10.

The 21-lap race saw both riders deliver consistent performances with Espargaro finishing the race in eighth place, only 19 seconds from the race winner, and gaining eight points in the championship. He is now in eighth place in the overall standings with 13 points. His team-mate Viñales ended right behind him in ninth place securing seven points that gives him 11th place in the riders’ championship.

Aleix Espargaro said: “I can’t say I’m totally satisfied with the final position, for sure we closed the gap to the winner and this means we did better than in Qatar, but I still believe that eighth place is not where this team and bike deserves to be. The weekend has been very variable and we experienced a lot of chattering at the rear of the bike, similar to what we had during the Qatar race. The team worked really hard to fix this problem; with both set-up, electronics and whatever could help, but we couldn’t find the proper solution. However the important thing is that we are constantly improving. I know I have support from the factory and the team and this finally led to an improvement compared to our first race, so we need to be patient and consistent and take as many points as we can in every race.”

Team-mate Maverick Viñales said:“Well I’m happy that I improved our position compared to Qatar, we are moving forward very quickly and also my confidence is improving. The weekend was not easy. Variable conditions are hard to deal with because you have to continuously adapt to the weather while being out on track as much as possible so you can learn as much as possible. Unfortunately the tyre choice for the race was maybe not the perfect one: I have always had a good feeling with the hard tyre, but at the end of the race I felt I could have performed better if I maybe had chosen the soft tyre. However it is important that I got well into the top 10, closing the gap with the top riders. We only need some more time to improve things and be even more competitive.”

Team director Satoru Terada said: “This weekend has been positive for us because we have got into the top 10 with both riders and we improved the performance that we had in Qatar. This means we are progressing well, although during this weekend we have experienced some issues that need to be investigated. Our bikes lack some power, as we already know, but at the moment we are experiencing also some chatter problems, especially at the rear. We have tried several improvements but for the moment we need to investigate still further, aided by the support of the factory in Japan. I want to thank the riders who made an excellent race and the whole team which is demonstrating to be both professional and well prepared.”

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