Team Suzuki Ecstar GSX-RR Valencia MotoGP Test
Team Suzuki Ecstar has been a hot-button item as of late. With “Silly Season” in full swing – and the thrilling performances that both Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaró have delivered so far – much buzz has surrounded the team.
Just after 2016 Mugello MotoGP, where Viñales put up an impressive qualifying lap to earn second behind pole-sitter Valentino Rossi, the Suzuki team didn’t take a break. The team underwent two days of exclusive testing in Valencia, Spain, which allowed Suzuki engineers and technicians to work out the kinks in their rigs. The goal: work on new set-ups that will improve traction and grip of the Factory GSX-RR.
There was serious setup work completed at Valencia. Suzuki shipped over two different chassis; both were tested by Viñales and Espargaró. The results so far? Things look positive. The riders are citing more confidence in the bike, along with efficiency. Together with the chassis’, engineers also experimented with variations in the geometry of the machines and set up. All the while, the crew worked hard to put the final touches on the electronics.
Following the test, Viñales, who joins Rossi next year on the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, said: “It’s been positive for us to take profit from this private test, we needed to find more efficiency with the traction and we also worked for many other improvements. The Suzuki factory sent us many pieces to test and also new configurations, so we tried some improvements in the chassis and also many set-up configurations.
“It was a positive test, we had a great deal of feedback that will be useful for the future to determine the paths to take. The GSX-RR is already a very good machine in certain areas; like the fast corners and its agility, but lacks in some other areas. We are working to find a good balance and be more and more performing.”
Espargaró also shared some thoughts: “The Mugello weekend was tough but testing is always important for us, as we are still in the development process and we need to grow as fast as possible. Here we had many things to test as the Factory is working very hard to give us all its support. We had two different steps on the chassis and one of them gave me very positive feeling, so we have made another step forward. Of course we need to further investigate our options; in Barcelona we will continue this work, but it is very positive that we have this support and we are consistently improving.”
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