STRONG MotoGP™ QUALIFYING FOR VIÑALES & ESPARGARÓ
Team Suzuki Press Office – August 13.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Maverick Viñales and Aleix Espargaró both put together strong performances today in the final qualifying sessions for the Red Bull Ring MotoGP™ World Championship 10th round in Austria, claiming second and third-row starts.
Viñales clocked sixth position on his GSX-RR while Espargaró – riding with a fractured finger and damaged hand – scored an impressive ninth overall, despite the limitations caused by his fall yesterday.
Both Spaniards automatically qualified through from FP3 to the final Q2 with Viñales third on a lap-time of 1’23.755 and Espargaró seventh with a 1’24.108 lap, but in Q2 both improved their times to 1’23.584 and 1’23.813 respectively.
The improvements done with the introduction of new, bigger winglets allowed both riders to find more efficiency in acceleration and keeping the gap from the leaders very small: In particular, Viñales had a consistently-strong pace in all today’s sessions, also managing to test his pace for the race and get the final feeling from the hard tyres.
Espargaró did a great job riding his machine with the pain he is suffering: Although yesterday’s medical investigation found him unfit to race, the job done with Clinica Mobile - and a night of rest - allowed him to recover feeling and functionality, finally being allowed to take the track this morning. His efforts were evident, but his determination allowed him to put a positive time-attack and also find a comfortable pace.