Suzuki MotoGP pair Espargaro and Vinales rue lack of seamless shift

Suzuki team-mates Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales blamed the lack of a seamless shift gearbox for their poor starts from the front row in MotoGP's Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona

Suzuki MotoGP pair Espargaro and Vinales rue lack of seamless shift

The pair claimed a breakthrough one-two in qualifying - Suzuki's first pole since 2007 - but both riders were swamped by the time they reached the first corner, immediately dropping to the foot of the top 10.

Barcelona MotoGP race report

"I had a very good start, but here in Catalunya the first corner is very far from the startline and we lack in acceleration," said Espargaro.

"As soon as I clicked into second gear I started losing positions because of our normal shift, instead of the seamless shift systems used by our factory rivals."

Suzuki is the only factory team now running without a seamless shift gearbox, with Aprilia joining Honda, Yamaha and Ducati in using the system from the previous event at Mugello.

Vinales, who finished sixth, was sure Suzuki had the pace to stay near the front had it started better.

"I'm disappointed because looking at the timesheet I notice that I ran the same pace-time that other factory riders did," he said.

"Therefore maybe if I could be more effective in acceleration after the start I could have been fighting for the podium.

"I got passed by so many riders in the first corner and I had to struggle a lot to overtake and recover."

The team - on the seventh race of its comeback tour after leaving MotoGP in 2011 - brought an engine upgrade to the Spanish Grand Prix, after losing as much as 0.6s on the long straight in the previous round at Mugello.

Espargaro managed to get back to fourth place before falling with five laps to go.

"The crash was my mistake, maybe because of the rush of recovering all those positions lost at the start," he said.

"When I crashed I was riding to the limit and I got slightly off the ideal line, probably by one metre, but unfortunately I got a bump and I lost the front.

"It's a real pity and I'm sorry for the team - which is doing a great job - but we still need something more."

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