Team #suzuki Press Office – June 22
The historical circuit of #assen will host the eighth round of the 2016 MotoGP™ Championship this weekend and Team #suzuki ECSTAR’s riders Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró arrive in Netherlands following a bittersweet race in Catalunya, where Viñales had a positive race with fourth place but Espargaró suffered some electronic issues that forced him to retire with seven laps to go.
The positive developments introduced by Suzuki’s R&D are still under evaluation, but the day of testing in Catalunya following the race gave both riders and the team the chance to gather more information and a clear direction for the upcoming race.
Suzuki’s history at the TT Circuit of #assen is a glorious one, with nine victories since 1975, and also last year’s race saw Espargaró place second in qualifying. Both Team #suzuki #ecstar riders also finished in the top 10, with Espargaró ninth and Viñales 10th.
The circuit, known as “The Cathedral of Motorcycling,” because of its historic significance to Motorcycle World Championship #racing, is the only circuit to have hosted a race every year since its creation in 1949. #assen is quite a technical track, very narrow and it has several rapid changes in direction that could be favourable to the handling capabilities of the GSX-RR machines. This is feature particularly appreciated by Espargaro. With a total length of 4.555 km (2.82 miles), it has a very short straight (only 487m – 1597.77ft) and a majority of right corners: 12 versus six left-handers.
“The work we did in Catalunya on Monday after race was very useful to better-investigate the potential of the new specs of the chassis. I’ve been struggling with the rear grip lately and the set-ups we found can apparently can help me in finding a better efficiency with traction. This is an important step forward for me, according to my riding style. We are constantly making progress technical-wise and the results are following; we are consistently fighting with the top competitors, although we still miss a little bit that we need to fight properly for even better positions. #assen will be an important and yet tough race, we have to try to finalise the best set-up possible according to the new chassis and be really focused.”
“Assen is one of my favourite tracks in the championship and with the improvements we have done lately I believe we can do a good race. From the test in Barcelona two weeks ago, I found a better direction for the development. I will probably go back to the standard chassis as we found some very interesting options in the set-up that can be further explored and exploited. At the end of the test last Monday I did many laps because I felt very comfortable and had a clear perception that we were moving ahead. This continuous improvement, together with the layout of the TT circuit, gives me a further enthusiasm towards this next race.”
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