Andrea Iannone Secures His First Suzuki Podium

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 23.

Andrea Iannone: 3rd (+ 6.704)
Alex Rins: DNF

• Andrea Iannone takes excellent 3rd position.
• Alex Rins unfortunate crash while recovering strong.
• Back-to-back podiums important for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

After mixed weather on Friday and Saturday, Austin and the Circuit of the Americas was bathed in welcome sunshine for race day. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were able to use the morning warm-up session to fine-tune bike settings and redefine their race setup, both riders found confidence and positivity ahead of the 20 lap race. They each opted to run the medium-front and hard-rear tyre combination.

As the lights went out, Andrea Iannone was able to get an excellent start from his front row grid position and he led into the first turn. He lost the position to Marc Marquez on the first lap but continued to stay in contention, fighting hard and keeping a high pace. This consistency paid off as he briefly regained the lead on the third lap. The Italian then held 2nd place for a further two laps before Maverick Viñales made a move. From 3rd place Andrea maintained and managed the gap and held firm – his perseverance and the hard work of all the team was richly rewarded with his first Suzuki podium. With this brilliant finish Andrea Iannone was able to gain 4 positions in the championship standings, and he is now just 15 points from the lead as MotoGP heads back to Europe.

It was a different story for Argentina podium sitter, Alex Rins. After a good start the Spaniard slotted into 9th place and kept the lead group in his sights, but he dropped to 12th position after running wide at turn 12 with 19 laps to go. Rins then began to gain ground on the group in front of him, which ran from 5th to 7th place, but unfortunately he lost the front and crashed. Rins was unable to rejoin the race, and he suffered a costly DNF. However, Alex was thankfully uninjured.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“It was a good race again. This weekend was a bit of a pity for Alex, but Andrea was very fast and consistent during all the sessions, and finally he could get the podium. I’m very happy as both riders have now had a podium, and this is very good for Suzuki and all the team. So we hope to continue to challenge and fight for podiums with both riders as we move into the European rounds.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“It’s a really good feeling to be back on the podium once again. I’m very pleased because we were able to get the podium with Andrea, who has struggled during the first two races. But this weekend he had a good feeling from Friday onwards, and when he’s able to find this good feeling, he is very fast. I hope this race will be the beginning of trend where he feels able to use his potential and the potential of the bike. To have two podiums in a row, one with each rider, is important and nice for us. Unfortunately Alex had a difficult weekend and a small crash, but we look forward to the next race and the return to Europe. We hope to continue this momentum and competitiveness. We’re happy and we aim to enjoy more races like this.”

Andrea Iannone
“I’m really happy about this podium, finally we have arrived here. We’ve come back after a really difficult period for me and Suzuki, but now things are better. This year we started well, but I struggled a lot during qualifying, especially in Argentina – when you start from further back it’s really hard to recover, over-take, and use your pace. But during this weekend I’ve found a good feeling with the bike, and we have found a good balance with the braking. I had been struggling with the front-end under braking but now we understand the way to go and I’m really happy about this. We’re still working to improve some areas but I’m really happy about my work and Suzuki’s work because we have always believed in our potential, and step-by-step we are getting closer, this is important. I have learned a lot and we’ll try to stay on top.”

Alex Rins
“We have missed our target and I did struggle during this weekend. During the race I tried to keep my mind clear and focused and tried to enjoy, things were going well until the crash. I made some small mistakes but I still felt that we improved a lot during the weekend as a whole – we’ve learned a lot of information in terms of the bike. As you can see, Andrea made a good race and this shows that the bike is working well. So the aim is to ‘reset’ and go to Jerez in two weeks’ and try to do well. From the beginning of the season I felt the bike had good potential and I’m sure we can do more good things this year. Despite missing the race in Jerez last year due to my injury, I feel that I have a lot more experience in general and I’ll try to be fast.”

GP of the Americas – Race Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 41’52.002
2. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +3.560
3. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +6.704
4. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +9.587
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +13.570
6. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +14.231
7. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team +18.201
8. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing +28.537
9. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing +28.671
10. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +28.875
11. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team +31.355
12. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing +34.993
13. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +37.264
14. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +39.335
15. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team +40.887
16. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +48.475
17. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +49.995
18. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +51.115
19. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL +59.055
20. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing +59.747
21. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +1’00.513
Not Classified
55 Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3
17 Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team

MotoGP World Standings 2018:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 46
2. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 45
3. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 41
4. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 38
5. Johann ZARCO Yamaha 38
6. Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 31
7. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 29
8. Jack MILLER Ducati 26
9. Tito RABAT Ducati 22
10. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 21
11. Dani PEDROSA Honda 18
12. Alex RINS Suzuki 16
13. Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 9
15. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 6
16. Jorge LORENZO Ducati 6
17.Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 6
18. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 5
19. Scott REDDING Aprilia 4
20. Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 4
21. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1
20. Jorge LORENZO Ducati 1
21. Thomas LUTHI Honda
22. Bradley SMITH KTM
24. Xavier SIMEON Ducati

Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

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