The 2015 MotoGP™ World Championship wrapped-up in Valencia where Aleix Espargarò and Maverick Viñales ended in eighth and 11th positions, again in the points and consolidating their 11th and 12th positions in 2015 series standings.
Espargarò had a good start, taking advantage of his fourth place on the grid, and he set a very fast-pace in the early laps, keeping in touch with the top riders around fifth position. Unfortunately his performance dropped as the rear tyre became worn, taking away valuable traction and mid-corner speed. This led him to lose contact with fourth place and allowed him to be caught from behind. He was fighting to keep his pace but had to give away several places, ending the race in eighth.
Viñales’ race was almost the opposite: He made a good start, but then ran wide in turn two and was overtaken by several riders. His race strategy then became one of recovery, trying to keep in touch with those in front of him and keeping a fast pace; which has proven to be one of his strengths throughout the season. His capability of getting faster-and-faster as the race develops allowed him to recover many places, lapping in the second part of the race with the same pace of those who were fighting for fourth-to-seventh positions.
The final event of the season was very emotional for both riders. Apart from the races where they didn’t get the chequered flag (three for Espargaro and two for Viñales), they were both well into the points for most of the calendar and frequently in the top-10, meaning that the approach for this first year was very positive.
Now, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is already thinking ahead for the new season, which will begin on Tuesday and Wednesday this week with the usual opening IRTA test in Valencia.
Satoru Terada – Project Leader:
“Finally the season has come to an end and we can make a balance of our progress. Today’s race was positive; Aleix did a very good first part of the race, fighting very close to the podium and with a fast pace. Then he had to give up when he had a drop in the rear tyre performance, but he could finish well into the points. Maverick did almost the opposite; he had to struggle with overtaking at the beginning and then managed to find a comfortable pace that allowed him to improve his performance and his lap times. Again, his result was well into points, showing that he is moving forward fast.
“As it is the last race, we can now take stock. We expected to finish the Championship in better positions than 11th and 12th, but for sure, this has been a very positive season in terms of development and experience. Our riders made good improvements, both in their riding style with our machine and in terms of information and feedback that they gave us. We know we have some weaknesses, but we are working hard on them and we had very useful technical direction from the riders. Also next season we will be faster getting to grips with work at the tracks because we have the knowledge base we have built-up this year, therefore being able to start from a solid basis in every race. Now we have to focus on 2016: We’re going to test the new tyres in the next few days and then also the new electronics. We have a tight-but-clear program and I think we can make many improvements.”
“It’s a pity that we had some troubles with the rear tyre, it was destroyed in the last part of the race and this prevented me keeping the good pace I was lapping with. I had a good start, I kept contact with fourth place and tried many times to overtake, but he overtook me on the straight, it was impossible to get ahead. Then in the second half of the race, the tyre was performing poorly and I couldn’t fight to keep the sixth place. I’m disappointed, but at least we ended up in the points. Now we have a long winter to work and improve the machine, because the improvements we have made throughout the year were not enough and not what I was expecting. We have fought hard to stay in the top 10 but we need to improve a lot. The positive thing is that now we have one year of experience that can be exploited for next season; we have references and data for all tracks and this will make our job easier.”
“I’m a little disappointed because I made a positive start but in the second corner someone pushed me out and I got wide, losing positions. When I could make my own pace, I proved to be as fast as the riders lapping in fifth-to-seventh positions. At the end I could get some points and finish the season in a positive position; we were expecting something more but we have learnt a lot. The season has been positive and without the two crashes I had, we could have placed in the top-10, so we are positive for the next year. Now we need to focus on the next season, we already know the main weakness points and we have much more information from this year. ”
GP of Valencia – Final Race Classification:
1. Jorge LORENZO, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 45'59.364
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team - +0.263
3. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team - +0.654
4. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +19.789
5. Pol ESPARGARO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +26.004
6. Bradley SMITH, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +28.835
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team - +28.886
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +34.222
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda - +35.924
10. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing - +39.579
11. Maverick VIÑALES, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +39.746
2015 MotoGP World Championship Final Classification:
1. Jorge LORENZO - 330
2. Valentino ROSSI – 325
3. Marc MARQUEZ - 242
4. Dani PEDROSA - 206
5. Andrea IANNONE - 188
6. Bradley SMITH - 181
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO - 162
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW - 125
9. Pol ESPARGARO - 114
10. Danilo PETRUCCI - 113
11. Aleix ESPARGARO - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR -105
12. Maverick VIÑALES - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 97
Valencia MotoGP Image Gallery (Race Photos to follow): CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS