The sun finally welcomed the MotoGP riders on the grid at the Circuit of The Americas today. This sunshine proved to be a good omen for the SUZUKI ECSTAR riders, as the results saw both Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Viñales in the top 10 and both Spaniards taking home solid points in the Championship.
The race started after a short delay due to track conditions, which capped a strange weekend for the American event. On Friday, rain and a dog on the track led to a delay, then poor weather and fog hit Saturday's schedule and finally sunshine welcomed Sunday's race, despite a further delay thanks to water on the track due to issues with drainage. These variable conditions pushed teams and riders to the limit over the weekend, but both SUZUKI ECSTAR's riders kept their minds focused on the job at hand.
The 21-lap race saw both riders deliver consistent performances. Espargaro ended 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.
Satoru Terada - Team Director:
"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."
"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."
"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 tire choice for the race was maybe not the perfect one: I have always had a good feeling with the hard tire, but at the end of the race I felt I could have performed better if I maybe had chosen the soft tire. 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."
GP of The Americas - Final classification:
- Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team - 43'47.150
- Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team - +2.354
- Valentino Rossi, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +3.120
- Jorge Lorenzo, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +6.682
- Andrea Iannone, Ducati Team - +7.584
- Bradley Smith, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +10.557
- Cal Crutchlow, CWM LCR Honda - +16.967
- Aleix Espargaro, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +19.025
- Maverick Viñales, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +38.570
- Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing - +41.796
Riders World Championship after the GP of The Americas:
- Valentino Rossi - 41
- Andrea Dovizioso - 40
- Marc Marquez - 36
- Andrea Iannone - 27
- Jorge Lorenzo - 26
- Bradley Smith - 18
- Cal Crutchlow - 18
- Aleix Espargaro - 13
- Dani Pedrosa - 10
- Danilo Petrucci - 10
- Maverick Viñales - 9
Source: Team Suzuki