Team Suzuki Press Office – November 17.
Alex Rins: 2nd – 1:31.380 (+ 0.068)
Andrea Iannone: 7th – 1:31.629 (+ 0.317)
• Alex Rins fights back to secure his first front row in MotoGP
• Andrea Iannone to start from 3rd row.
• Tiny margins separate riders on exciting qualifying day.
Day 2 in Valencia started with rain fall at the beginning of FP3, but ended with a frantic and fast final qualifying session in the dry. Despite difficult track conditions in FP3 riders pushed to improve their times and slot into the Top 10. Andrea Iannone’s efforts were hampered by a small crash about half way through the session and he finished 13th, meanwhile Alex Rins worked his way into an important 8th before going down the road as the chequered flag came out.
Determined to place top two in Q1, Andrea Iannone managed the session excellently – using the first run to get his rhythm before pushing hard in the final run. This paid off as the Italian took more than a second out of the field and placed 1st.
Iannone was aiming high in Q2, but as the clock ticked down he found himself 7th. However, he was a minuscule 0.317 seconds from pole and feels confident for tomorrow’s GP. After suffering a second crash in FP4, Alex Rins entered Q2 a little shaken up, but the young Spaniard impressed on home turf as he fought back, putting in several quick laps and firmly placing himself on the front row of the grid, close to pole with 2nd place – his best ever MotoGP qualifying result.
Amazingly, all six manufacturers featured in Q2 and were separated by just three tenths of a second!
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Alex did a very good job, it’s been a tricky and difficult day but he still came out of it with second place, his first ever front row. I’m pleased because despite the crash in FP4 he was able to push hard from the start of Q2. We’ve been working to improve our qualifying performances, so I hope today is a good indicator of the work we’ve done. Andrea did really well coming from a difficult situation in Q1, and he managed to get on the third row, which is not bad. We know it could rain tomorrow, and we’ll do our best to be prepared for everything.”
“I’m happy. For sure I would’ve liked to get pole, I was very close to it. But the most important thing is that after the second crash of the day I’m OK, it was quite a heavy fall and I wasn’t feeling great afterwards. Luckily I was still able to get 2nd place. The bike was working well today, despite the mixed conditions. Tomorrow will be wet but I think I can stay in the lead group, the target will be the podium. I’d like to finish this year in the best way possible.”
“For sure it’s been a difficult day because I had a crash, and in the wet conditions it’s very tricky. In Q1 I had a better feeling with the bike and I was able to get a great lap time. When it came to Q2 I didn’t have the same pace, and I used a different tyre so the feeling was different. But in any case, tomorrow I’ll start on the 3rd row and it’s OK. Set-up is not easy here, especially when it’s raining or half-wet, half-dry. We’ll try to stay in the top group tomorrow, let’s see what happens!”
GP of Valencia – Qualifying Classification:
1. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’31.312
2. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’31.380 0.068 / 0.068
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’31.392 0.080 / 0.012
4. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’31.414 0.102 / 0.022
5. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’31.442 0.130 / 0.028
6. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.577 0.265 / 0.135
7. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’31.629 0.317 / 0.052
8. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’31.630 0.318 / 0.001
9. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’32.140 0.828 / 0.510
10. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’32.145 0.833 / 0.005
11. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’32.179 0.867 / 0.034
12. Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 1’32.310 0.998 / 0.131
13. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 1’31.900 Q1
14. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’31.928 Q1
15. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’32.385 Q1
16. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’32.452 Q1
17. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’32.545 Q1
18. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1’32.547 Q1
19. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1’32.568 Q1
20. Stefan BRADL LCR Honda CASTROL 1’32.708 Q1
21. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’32.749 Q1
22. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’33.011 Q1
23. Jordi TORRES Reale Avintia Racing 1’34.427 Q1
24. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’35.171 Q1
Story issued by Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.