Aleix Espargaro doesn’t feel the gap between Suzuki and their rival manufacturers is particularly relevant at such an early stage of pre-season testing. The Spaniard was two seconds down on Marc Marquez’s Honda after day one at Sepang but was keen to stress that his team were yet to find the limit of their GSX-R and will make inroads as the test unfolds.
“I am very happy to get back on the bike again after a long winter period and this is what I like a lot. Although I’m not too much happy with my fitness right now, as I could only train really hard during last 10 days because of my injury, I’m not 100% yet. But this should not be a big problem as we have plenty of time before the first race in Qatar. Regarding the bike, I like it a lot and it is working really well; plus we also have good grip. Of course we need a lot more testing to obtain the best set-up, but for the moment we also know that our main target is to improve the power. We need to be patient because it will not be so easy, but regarding the current situation, I think that the gap in lap-times between us and our main rivals is not a great issue.”
Rookie teammate Maverick Vinales was also keen to take the positives from the opening day and is confident the team are moving in the right direction.
“It was a good day and I’m quite happy. We still have many things to work-through on the bike and also myself as it was my first ride after three months, but as it was only the first day, it was important for me to get back my feeling on the bike first. The bike was quite similar compared to the one I tested in Valencia, although I felt a great improvement with anti-wheelie system; which was much smoother than before. The important target here is to get a good pace going and that I’ll keep trying to give my best.”