Espargaro excited to leave Open class behind
Suzuki's return to MotoGP has already been far more competitive than many expected with Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales both impressing throughout testing but this weekend will be the first time that we get a true indication of manufacturer of how strong they will be in 2015.
Aleix Espargaro, who dominated the CRT and Open classes for the last two years, spoke about the prospect of riding for a factory outfit after having spent the last two years with ART and Open Yamaha machinery:
"I'm really excited to start this new project," smiled Espargaro in today's press conference. "The last 3 years we were battling with Open or CRT bike, so or me it's a pleasure to be a factory rider, as a big brand like Suzuki, so we will try to do the best we can. It's not going to be easy, especially the first part of the season, but all the team, all the guys, me especially, we are really excited, we are really focused, and looking forward to start."
In testing Espargaro has been a regular fixture amongst the top ten but making the step to competing with Honda, Yamaha and Ducati is not one that he expects the team to be able to make in the short term. The work completed over the winter has been in optimising the package as it currently exists rather than trying to push forward with lots of new developments. The chassis has proved one of the more nimble on the grid but finding horsepower will be one of the keys of how competitive Suzuki can be this season.
"It's going to be really difficult at the moment. We know exactly what problems we had, and the engineers are working really hard to improve that, but as I said, we need to be patient, we need to finish races, we need to take points, take information. Obviously the aim for Suzuki is to battle for the top places, but we need to be realistic, it's not the moment yet. So let's start with the first race this weekend, we will try the best we can, but we need for sure to stay close to the top guys, but as I said, it will be difficult."
Comparing the Suzuki to the Forward Yamaha that he rode last year Espargaro admitted that the Yamaha had a more powerful engine but the Suzuki is more stable under braking.