Team Suzuki Press Office – April 8

Alex Rins: 3rd (+ 2.501)
Andrea Iannone: 8th (+ 23.921)

• Alex Rins takes his first ever MotoGP podium.
• Iannone perseveres for a Top 10 finish.
• Drama-filled race proves positive for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

The GP of Argentina had plenty to offer, even before the lights went out; a delayed start due safety concerns as weather conditions changed and many riders wished to switch tyres, meant tensions were running high. However, this did not impact on the focus of Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone and the pair made good starts from their newly formed grid positions.

Alex Rins was able to slot into 5th place in the opening moments of the Grand Prix, and as he was settling into his race rhythm he gained and lost some positions as the battle was getting fierce. Alex stayed with the small lead group and attempted to take to the front several times before briefly making it stick with 9 laps to go, spectacularly smoking his rear tyre as he did so. With mixed track conditions and drama happening all around him, the 22 year old kept his concentration and rhythm and entered the last lap in 3rd place, a position which he brilliantly held until the chequered flag. This marks his best ever result in MotoGP.

Andrea Iannone was able to make good progress on the opening few laps, passing Smith and Rossi to take 8th place. As the race wore on the Italian lost some ground, but was able to regain positions as others faltered around him. At the end of the race he was able to finish within the Top 10 – a valuable 8th place, and gaining decent points. This was especially important after Andrea struggled with settings during the wet weekend and could not qualify as high as he’d hoped.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“It was a good race and a good fight. We could see how Alex has grown and improved, and I’m very happy. Unfortunately Andrea, due to the bad qualifying position, couldn’t show his best performance, but he still finished in the Top 10. This race has been very good for the team, and we will continue to grow with Alex and Andrea and keep pushing for even higher positions.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Of course this was a very nice race, the first podium for Alex – we have been expecting that. I’m very happy, not only for the podium, but also because Alex was very competitive and fighting at the front for the whole race and trying to win. Despite difficult conditions; the track had damp patches and it was hard to keep the right line, he managed very well today and during the whole weekend. So we took a difficult weekend and managed to make a brilliant podium from it. I think, and I hope, that we can have more days like today. We were competitive in Qatar and also here, so let’s try to keep this trend. I’m sorry for Andrea as he couldn’t push very hard during the race, and now we have to understand how we can improve his feeling and how we can work to bring him closer to the top.”

Alex Rins
“I’m very satisfied with this race, because it wasn’t easy and before the start I was nervous due to the delay and everything. But finally, when we started, I was feeling really good from the beginning. When I was behind Miller I was thinking ‘OK, maybe I need to overtake him and go’, because my feeling was perfect. But when I was leading I made a small mistake – the track was very difficult with the damp patches, especially off the racing line. Myself, my team, and everyone in Japan has worked really hard to have a competitive bike, and we’ve done it! Texas is one of my favourite tracks, despite the fact that last year I had a fast crash and broke my arm. This year we arrive with strong mentality, more experience, and a great bike.”

Andrea Iannone
“I was one of the first riders to decide to switch bikes after the first warm-up lap, but unfortunately everybody copied me! I’m joking, but the truth is that in just a few minutes the asphalt and conditions changed a lot. In any case, I didn’t have a good grid position and that disappointed me because I had really good pace during the race when I was closing the gaps to the other riders. But in the end, often when I tried to overtake I made a few mistakes and I think that has been the most difficult thing for me. But I’m really happy for Suzuki and Alex for this podium. And my own result has also been quite good. Me and my team are working well and it’s possible to get to the top. We’ll try our best in Austin!”

GP of Argentina – Race Classification:
1. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 40’36.342
2. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +0.251
3. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +2.501
4. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing +4.390
5. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +14.941
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +22.533
7. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing +23.026
8. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +23.921
9. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +24.311
10. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing +26.003
11. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +31.022
12. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +31.891
13. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +32.452
14. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +42.061
15. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team +42.274
16. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team +42.625
17. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +43.350
18. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team +43.860
19. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +52.082
20. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team +1’03.944
21. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing +1’10.144
Not Classified
38. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
41. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Not Finished 1st Lap
26. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team

MotoGP World Standings 2018:
1. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 38
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 35
3. Johann ZARCO Yamaha 28
4. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 21
5. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 20
6. Jack MILLER Ducati 19
7. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 17
8. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 16
9. Alex RINS Suzuki 16
10. Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 15
11. Tito RABAT Ducati 14
12. Dani PEDROSA Honda 9
13. Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 9
14. Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 6
16. Scott REDDING Aprilia 4
17. Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 3
18. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 3
19. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1
20. Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1
21. Thomas LUTHI Honda
22. Bradley SMITH KTM
23. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia
24. Xavier SIMEON Ducati

Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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