Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport -

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

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