Maverick Vinales makes factory Suzuki debut

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Former Moto3 world champion Maverick Vinales has appeared for the first time on Suzuki’s new factory GSX-RR on a sun drenched start to winter testing at the Valencia track in Spain today.

The Spaniard, who finished rookie of the year in a sensational Moto2 campaign, has completed his first laps on the GSX-RR, which suffered serious reliability issues on its return to MotoGP competition for the first time since 2011 last weekend.

Test rider Randy de Puniet had two engine failures and had to retire from yesterday’s 30-lap race after a downshifting issue struck the GSX-RR.

Vinales had an eventful conclusion to his short Moto2 career in Valencia after crashing three times on his final appearance.

He’d already crashed in the warm-up session when he wiped out Finnish rival Mika Kallio on the first lap.

He did make it back out on track after his Sito Pons squad carried out quick repairs but he then crashed out again, ending a stunning Moto2 campaign that saw him win four races, in disappointing fashion.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt