Suzuki’s new MotoGP effort made great strides forward the traditional post-season test at Valencia, with new riders Aleix Esparagaró and Moto2 graduate Maverick Viñales getting their first taste of the new GSX-RR machine.
After a first day getting acquainted to the bike, Espargaró immediately praised the bike’s chassis and was impressed with its ability to turn quickly.
With Tuesday a wash out due to the forecast rain, testing resumed on the Wednesday with Espargaró pushing harder and lapping underneath his race pace from Sunday. The team made even big steps forward too, in particular with the new electronics and improving the traction control and engine braking.
Espargaró said, “It was really fantastic. I feel the riding position is much better compared to the one that I rode this year and it turns very well so that braking and turning into the corners is really comfortable for me.
“I’m really happy with our first test. Unfortunately, due to the rain, we missed the second day completely, but we learned a lot about the bike.
“On the final day we could try to go to the limit of the bike and the frame is really good and it turns and handles really easily. We also made big steps with the electronics-side and we made good improvements with the traction control and engine braking.
“I’m quite optimistic with the package we have and it was good that I could make lap-times that were not so far from the top guys. Now I’m really looking forward to the next test and further development.”
He added, “It was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t easy to get used to the power and speed for me in the beginning, so I paid a lot of attention and concentrated and tried to adapt little-by-little.
“I also didn’t use the electronic control either, apart from traction control, so there is still a lot to do. But the bike leans and corners easily and I really feel comfortable.”
Team Manager Davide Brivio also commented, “I’m pleased with this test, and now I’m really looking forward to start working with our new riders next year.
“We received a lot of feedback and comments from both riders which were very interesting to hear, especially Aleix with his MotoGP experience, while Maverick, who was riding a MotoGP bike for the first time, had made a softer approach, trying to avoid any risks.
“The most positive thing was that both riders liked the bike very much and they were happy throughout the test and enjoyed riding the bikes.
“Of course, we still have some areas which have to be improved, such as the engine performance and the electronics, and we will test more in Jerez at the end of the month. Hopefully we will be able to conclude 2014 with another positive test and will be able to start 2015 with a fully sorted bike at the start of the season.”