Fourth And Fifth Place For Iannone And Rins In Japan

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 15.

Andrea Iannone: P4 / +18.845
Alex Rins: P5 / +22.982

Finally rain proved to be beneficial for the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders at the Japanese GP. Andrea Iannone got 4th place at the end of the race, with his teammate Alex Rins immediately behind in 5th. This is also the best result of the season for both the riders and for the team. The performance was seen a gift to Mr. Toshihiro Suzuki – CEO and COO of Suzuki Motor Corporation – who joined the Team in the garage to experience the race from the inside.

Despite the warm-up session being shortened to only 15 minutes, Iannone and Rins immediately felt positive in the wet conditions which they had already encountered the previous sessions. With heavy rain falling, the Italian set himself in 8th place with 1’57.554, while Rins was even faster setting the third best time of the session with 1’57.215, less than half a second behind the session leader.

With the track still drenched, the configuration of the GSX-RR proved to be effective again, with both riders confident during the race and able to set a consistent pace.

In the early stages of the race Iannone maintained his pace, keeping up with the leading group, which allowed him to be at the right place at the right time in the end of the race to make his move, overtaking to reach 4th place.

Despite a good start, Alex Rins was not able to find the best line through the first corner; he was pushed wide by other riders and lost positions, forced back to 15th place. However, the young Spaniard made the most of the progress made with his GSX-RR and quickly recovered, advancing through the field and regaining contact with the leading group. His consistent pace allowed him to fight until the end of the race, when only in the last few laps he had to give up the fight and settle for 5th place.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“This year, at least until now, we have struggled a lot to get some good results. Therefore I’m very happy about today’s race. We couldn’t get to the podium, but the progress we made is solid and consistent. We improved throughout the whole weekend and the configuration we employed for the race proved to be beneficial for the riders, who also had positive performances themselves. Now we can be a little more relaxed because we were able to demonstrate this to all our fans and engineers from Japan, and to all the people supporting us. Now we have to try to repeat it – and also further improve – these performances in dry conditions as well. I want to thank you, the riders, the whole team, and all the people that came to Motegi today to support us. We will try to push hard until the end of the season.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Today we can be very happy. Although this was not a podium or a victory, it is a great result considering the struggles we encountered throughout the season. This is an important result and it is positive that both riders got into the top five right here in Japan, with our President and all the Management with us in the garage. We gave them a good show to enjoy. The weekend has been tough because of the conditions; it was very easy to make a mistake in the race, but the riders have been very good. Andrea had a good pace the whole race. Alex was force to make a comeback from 15th to 5th place, and he did it perfectly. This result gives us some breathing room. We are aware that this race has been run in peculiar conditions, but it’s important we haven’t made any mistakes.”

Andrea Iannone
“Finally this was a race that I enjoyed. It has been a positive one for us. I had a good start and was able to keep a consistent pace. I’m happy for the improvements we made from the time of the warm-up to the race which allowed us to find that consistency. It’s also positive that we could have a good race right here in Japan. It’s a good sign after the struggles we have faced this year. We still have much work to do and to improve, but compared to the beginning of the season, we are now more aware of where we can improve. I want to thank the whole Suzuki Company for all the effort they are putting into the project, and also my crew, and the whole Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. They have never given up and they continue to believe in me.”

Alex Rins
“I think it has been the best weekend of the season so far. The result is fantastic and the bike has worked pretty well in wet conditions the whole weekend. The race was very positive. I started a bit far back when in the first corners someone forced me to go wide and I lost some more positions, falling back to 15th. It took me some time to regain my position in the race, but I finally managed it and finished in 5th, so I’m very happy. I lost some time behind Zarco but the conditions of track were not easy. I can say I learnt so many things today and now we are facing the Australian race with more optimism.”

GP of Japan – Race classification:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 47’14.236
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – +0.249
3. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – +10.557
4. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +18.845
5. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +22.982

6. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – +24.464
7. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +28.010
8. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – +29.475
9. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – +36.575
10. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – +48.506
11. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +56.357
12. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA, Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing – +1’00.181
13. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +1’00.980
14. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – +1’03.118
15. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – +1’03.514
16. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – +1’04.162
17. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +1’06.271
18. Hiroshi AOYAMA, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – +1’13.250
Not Classified
Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 3 Laps
Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 4 Laps
Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 5 Laps
Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 10 Laps
Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 19 Laps
Kohta NOZANE, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 21 Laps

MotoGP World Standing 2017:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Honda – 244
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati – 233
3. Maverick VIÑALES, Yamaha – 203
4. Dani PEDROSA, Honda – 170
5. Valentino ROSSI, Yamaha – 168
6. Johann ZARCO, Yamaha – 125
7. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati – 116
8. Danilo PETRUCCI, Ducati – 111
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, Honda – 92
10. Jonas FOLGER, Yamaha – 84
11. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Ducati – 70
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia – 62
13. Jack MILLER, Honda – 56
14. Scott REDDING, Ducati – 56
15. Andrea IANNONE, Suzuki – 50
16. Loris BAZ, Ducati – 45
17. Pol ESPARGARO, KTM – 42
18. Alex RINS, Suzuki – 38
19. Tito RABAT, Honda – 29
20. Karel ABRAHAM, Ducati – 28
21. Hector BARBERA, Ducati – 25
22. Michele PIRRO, Ducati – 18
23. Bradley SMITH, KTM – 14
24. Mika KALLIO, KTM – 11
25. Sam LOWES, Aprilia – 5
26. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA, Yamaha – 4
27. Sylvain GUINTOLI, Suzuki – 1

Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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