Team Suzuki Press Office – April 21.
Andrea Iannone: 3rd – 2:04.209 (+ 0.551)
Alex Rins: 11th – 2:05.260 (+ 1.602)
• 3rd on the grid for Andrea Iannone.
• Good pace from Alex Rins despite difficulties.
• Weather now set fair after mixed Day 2.
The second day of action at the Circuit of the Americas proved tricky as the predicted rain arrived and caused mixed conditions. However, Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were still able to find useful settings and adjustments, and work with dry setups and tyres.
The morning FP3 session started dry, giving the opportunity for riders to improve on their Friday times and aim for direct passage into Q2. Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders were able to maintain the strong pace they showed during FP1 and FP2, and this ensured they would fight it out in the final qualifying session.
Despite rain following FP3, Iannone and Rins could start the useful FP4 session with slicks and continue to try different dry tyre combinations.
Both riders were confident coming into the high pressure 15 minute Q2 session. Andrea Iannone was able to string together several fast laps, benefitting from his domination of the 4th sector, and he set a 2:04.209 – the 3rd fastest time – with 10 minutes to go. As the chequered flag came out the Italian, who was just half a second from the pole, was able to celebrate a crucial front row start for tomorrow’s 20 lap race. Meanwhile, Alex Rins’ precision riding earned him several good laps but the Spaniard lost his final ‘flying lap’ whilst setting a personal best in the first two splits, he completed the session 11th with a 2:05.260.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Andrea has done a very good job and it’s really nice to be on the front row for tomorrow’s race. But I’m also happy because Andrea has been fast all weekend, always in the top positions. I hope tomorrow we’ll have good pace and stay close to the front. Andrea needs to come back to the top so I hope tomorrow will be the day for him. Alex found a few difficulties, and his position on the grid might make things more difficult in the race, but his pace is not so bad. In warm-up we can make some final adjustments with him and try to catch up as much as possible. So we’re looking forward to the race with both of them, and I hope it will be a good Sunday.”
“My last front row was in Valencia last year, and I have a really good feeling with the bike now. We’ve worked really well this weekend, practice by practice, the engineers have done a great job and we were able to improve. We’re not completely ready for the race, we’ll certainly use warm-up tomorrow morning to fine tune some settings, but I think that’s the case for everybody. It will be a difficult race, especially as Marquez has such a high pace, but you can never say never and I will push and try everything! I’m happy to start from the front row. We’ve worked really hard in the last year and a half so I really want to bring a good result to Suzuki.”
“I expected more from the qualifying, but the race is tomorrow. We will try to work hard to get the good feeling back and prepare for the race. Overall I can`t feel confident in different areas; the circuit, the tyres, myself. But I think we have a big margin to improve. Andrea did well, so at least we know the bike works well here, but we have to find out how to improve tomorrow.”
LATE UPDATE: After a post-qualifying investigation by Race Direction, pole-sitter Marc Marquez was penalised three grid places. This promotes Andrea Iannone to the 2nd place spot for tomorrow’s race.
Circuit: Circuit of the Americas, USA.
Air Temperature: 19ºC
Track Temperature: 26ºC
GP of the Americas – Qualifying Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 2’03.658
2. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’04.064 0.406 / 0.406
3. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’04.209 0.551 / 0.145
4. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’04.210 0.552 / 0.001
5. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’04.229 0.571 / 0.019
6. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 2’04.294 0.636 / 0.065
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 2’04.456 0.798 / 0.162
8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 2’04.865 1.207 / 0.409
9. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 2’04.963 1.305 / 0.098
10. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 2’05.058 1.400 / 0.095
11. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’05.260 1.602 / 0.202
12. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’05.829 2.171 / 0.569
13. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 2’05.457 Q1
14. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 2’05.686 Q1
15. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’05.761 Q1
16. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’05.873 Q1
17. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’05.943 Q1
18. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 2’05.966 Q1
19. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’06.035 Q1
20. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’06.222 Q1
21. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 2’06.296 Q1
22. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’06.370 Q1
23. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 2’06.537 Q1
24. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 2’06.726 Q1
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.