SUZUKI DUO BID FAREWELL
Valencia marked the end of the beginning for Suzuki as the two riders with whom they made their return to the premier class in 2015 rode their last race on the GSX-RR.
With young hotshot Maverick Viñales on his way to partner Rossi at Yamaha next year, and Aleix Espargaro moving to Aprilia, Suzuki greeted two new riders in the shape of Andrea Iannone and rookie Alex Rins at the test on Tuesday.
While there were no fireworks from Viñales or Espargaro on their Suzuki, swansong with fifth and eighth place respectively, both were full of praise for the Hamamatsu factory as they prepared to hang up their striking blue leathers for the final time.
“I’ve definitely grown up a lot with Suzuki,” Viñales smiled. “The first year was difficult. I cannot say that finishing 11th and 12th suits me, so it was tough and hard for me but this year we have shown that we’ve improved the level and I have improved as a rider as we finished fourth in the championship.
“That said, today I was ten seconds behind so I don’t think I made a bad decision in moving to Yamaha! There is no doubt Suzuki will be at the level of the others, but it will be interesting to see how Iannone rides the bike!”
Espargaro added: “I leave Suzuki with many happy memories. It hasn’t been easy; the first season was fine but the bike was very different to how it is now. We achieved good results in the second season but I made a lot of mistakes. I wasn’t at the level of the bike or the team, this was the reality. I did my best and they know I put in 100%. We worked together over the two years and ended with what I believe is the best Suzuki Motogp bike in history, and the best bike I have ridden in my career.”
‘We ended with what I believe is the best Suzuki Motogp bike in history’ ALEIX ESPARGARO