Team Suzuki Press Office – May 30.
The thrilling Circuit of Mugello awaits Team SUZUKI ECSTAR for the sixth round of the 2018 World Championship, with added anticipation for Andrea Iannone at what he considers his home circuit. The Italian has won many races in Italy in the past, and has been one of the protagonists every year.
Last year’s performance was under expectations for the Italian rider, but the hugely improved competitiveness found this year compared to 2017 gives him much higher hopes. The crash in Le Mans two weeks ago was a bitter pill to swallow, but yet it was a useful lesson that gave him further knowledge about the potential of rider and machine.
The enthusiasm of youth is the main theme of Italy for Alex Rins, who is approaching the Italian race with a fresh mind and better consistency found in France. After the crashes in the first part of the season his experience has grown and so has his self-awareness, two things that will be of great help in the tough but exciting ups and downs of Mugello.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We arrive in Mugello following a positive trend, we’ve had a good start to the season so far. In France Iannone crashed on the first lap but we were hoping he could aim for a very positive race result after the good practice sessions. On the other hand, Rins could finish the race with a solid performance, which was important for him to get back the pace and the feeling after the crashes he had in the first races. Now we will try to put everything together and become more solid, Mugello is what we consider the beginning of the ‘hot’ part of the season. Italy, Catalunya and Assen use to be three crucial races for the points, I believe we can face them in a good mood. Recently we did some important tests to prepare for the races, first in Mugello three weeks ago and then in Barcelona last week, where both Andrea and Alex could achieve a good performance. The GP of Italy will also be an emotional one for Andrea, he has some very good memories from here with some of his best performances, for sure the affection of his Italian fans will be a further push for him.”
“I’m happy to say that we arrive in Italy in a better situation compared to last year, our competitiveness is higher, but at the same time we have to be realistic knowing that the general level of the championship has risen a lot, and we have to keep the pace. We did some testing here three weeks ago and we had good outcomes, but as well we have found some things that can and must be improved for an even better performance. The GP of Italy will not be easy at all, but I like the track a lot and I have already won here many times in the past, plus we will have the affection of our fans who will further add to our performance.”
“The test we did in Mugello some weeks ago gave me good feelings and positive energy. It was my first time on this track with a MotoGP machine and I feel more confident arriving here having already gained some information and track time. The circuit is amazing, very technical and fast, with two corners that are absolutely crucial for the lap time: the Arrabbiata one and two. They require some bravery, and there you can really make the difference, so it will be important to stay focused on the correct lines and to prepare the GSX-RR at its best.”
Mugello’s blend of slow and fast turns with sweeping curves, long straights and off-camber (negatively-banked) corners make it one of the most challenging circuits for the riders and engineers. Owned by Ferrari since 1988, the 5.245km track has been renovated to the highest standards and has a growing reputation as one of the world’s most up-to-date, scenic and safest race circuits.
Qualifying: 16th – 1’47.625 (Q1)
Race: 10th – +15.502
DNS – out with injury.
Qualifying: 24th – 1’48.892 (Q1)
Race: 17th – +46.294
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.