The GP of Catalunya is the next round on the MotoGP calendar this weekend; a very special and important one for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales, who both consider it their home GP.
The two Spaniards grew-up very close to the track, and both being Catalans, they will take benefit of the many fans that are going to pack the Team’s Hospitality Unit as well as the grandstands around the circuit.
Another reason for an emotive weekend at the Montmelò circuit is memories from last season’s impressive qualifying, where Espargaró took the pole aboard his GSX-RR with a stunning last-lap of the session and Viñales placed second alongside him on the front-row in only Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s seventh race in its comeback in the most-prestigious motorcycle world championship.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR arrives in Barcelona after a two-days of private testing at Valencia where both riders tested some new-specs chassis’ that will be further investigated at Montmelo; and which left both riders satisfied and confident in the improvements made by Suzuki’s Factory Technicians.
The Circuito de Catalunya in Montmelò, Spain, is one of the most historic circuits in the Championship. Opened in 1991, it started to host the GP of Catalunya in 1995. It has very fast corners that will test the stability and precision capabilities of the chassis and set-up, but will be very demanding on tyres. With five left-hand corners and eight right-hand corners, it measures 4.7km (2.94 miles) and it’s longest straight is 1047mt (3435.04 ft.).
“The race in Mugello was not as good as I expected, and I am happy we’ll soon get to racing again to find more performance. Last week we had two very positive days in Valencia and I found a good feeling, as the Suzuki Factory sent us some developments that will hopefully help me with the bike set-up. We are improving day-by-day and race-by-race, this is very important, and I really hope to have a good weekend in Catalunya. It will be my home race, I was born in the region and grew-up there, so there will be many of my friends and also a lot of people from my Fan Club, which will be a further incentive for me.”
“Racing in Barcelona is always magic; I was born and grew-up very close to the circuit, and when I was a kid at school, I could hear the sound of engines while I was in class, so this again will be an emotional race for me. Lately we have been finding very positive set-ups and my competitiveness has increased a lot. The two days testing in Valencia gave us further options we will investigate more in Barcelona, but the overall feeling is good and I have the confidence that we can improve even more. The bike has also improved a lot since last year and we should suffer less with acceleration problems we had in 2015 as our engine is now performing much better.”
2015 GP of Cataluñya Result:
Qualifying: 2nd – 1’40.629 – +0.083s
Race: 6th – +29.559s
Qualifying: 1st – 1’40.546