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Old 02-19-2016, 09:30 AM   #1
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Viales fastest at Phillip Island test

The young Spaniard admits he must keep his feet on the ground

MAVERICK Viñales remains the focus of the Phillip Island test as he ends day three on top of the combined time-sheets.

Three days of MotoGP testing at Phillip Island in Australia have seen Team Suzuki Ecstar rider Maverick Viñales consistently within the fastest riders where he ended in top position on the combined time-sheets due to his lap of 1:29.131 set on Thursday.

Consistent improvements throughout the week put him into second place on the first day and on the final day. The young Spaniard not only topped the the lap times, but also gathered important data for the development of his 2016 GSX-RR.

Phillip Island was also important for the Suzuki Factory and Team Suzuki Ecstar engineers to collect crucial information from Test Team rider Takuya Tsuda. His work never focused on the timesheets but rather on the machine development.

Speaking after day three of the test, Viñales explained: 'First of all I must say I’m ok after the crash this morning: I went out with a new tyre but probably the temperature was still too cold and I lost the front, but I didn’t suffer any injuries.

'Today has been another positive day, although I couldn’t improve my lap time, but we are aware of the reason why this happened. We focused on testing different configurations of the new chassis and this took us some time; maybe if I continued with the previous one I could have done a better time but it is important for us to us to work with a long term vision and exploit the tests for what they are.

'The development of the machine for the season is still a long way off and we still have much potential that we need to investigate. For sure I’m happy in how this test went overall, we made solid progress both in the single lap performance and for the consistency, even though the variable weather didn’t allow us to really test a race simulation.'

Talking about what is next for the Suzuki Ecstar squad, the Spaniard said: 'For Qatar it will be important to further investigate the electronics; it is still a field where we miss experience as it’s completely new, but we have already done much work for this and collected a good amount of data, which will be useful for us.

'Of course ending a test at the top is a good feeling that makes you comfortable for the future, but we must keep our feet on the ground and stay focused on the development plan we have set.'

Tsuda's GSX-RR was fitted with the new seamless gearbox which will now be assessed by the technicians to decide when these will be fitted to Viñales' and Aleix Espargaro's machines - hopefully before the season opener.

Team Suzuki Ecstar will be back on track between March 2nd-4th as the final pre-season official test begins before the 2016 MotoGP World Championship starts.

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