Vinales, Espargaro ready for ‘home’ GP

Team Suzuki Ecstar riders Aleix Espargaró and Maverick Viñales head to this weekend’s next round of the MotoGP Championship, at the Grand Prix of Catalunya, confident of doing well at their home circuit.

Both grew up very close to the Catalunya circuit and feel that this is their home GP and will, in all likelihood, get huge support from the home fans.

In last year’s event, the Suzuki duo were impressive in qualifying with Espargaró taking pole followed by Viñales, second on the grid beside him.

Last time out at the Italian MotoGP at Mugello on May 22, both Viñales and Espargaró disappointed , finishing Sunday’s race placed sixth and ninth respectively. In qualifying, Viñales was second quickest behind Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi while his teammate qualified sixth on the grid.

In an interview with the Full Noise website, Viñales said that though he was disappointed with his last showing at Mugello since he felt that the bike was improving all the time.

“The race in Mugello was not as good as I expected, and I am happy we’ll soon get to racing again to find more performance,” Viñales said.

“Last week we had two very positive days in Valencia and I found a good feeling, as the Suzuki Factory sent us some developments that will hopefully help me with the bike set-up.

“We are improving day-by-day and race-by-race, this is very important, and I really hope to have a good weekend in Catalunya.

“It will be my home race, I was born in the region and grew up there, so there will be many of my friends and also a lot of people from my Fan Club, which will be a further incentive for me.”

Espargaró said he was excited to be racing in Barcelona this coming weekend as it would be an emotional race for him at his home circuit.

“Racing in Barcelona is always magic; I was born and grew up very close to the circuit, and when I was a kid at school, I could hear the sound of engines while I was in class, so this again will be an emotional race for me,” Espargaró said.

“Lately, we have been finding very positive set-ups and my competitiveness has increased a lot. The two days testing in Valencia gave us further options we will investigate more in Barcelona, but the overall feeling is good and I have the confidence that we can improve even more.

“The bike has also improved a lot since last year and we should suffer less with acceleration problems we had in 2015 as our engine is now performing much better.”