Team Suzuki Press Office – November 3.
Andrea Iannone: 4th – 2:13.097 (+ 0.936)
Alex Rins: 8th – 2:13.463 (+ 1.302)
• Andrea Iannone set the 4th fastest time but starts on front row due to penalisation of the pole sitter.
• Alex Rins on third row and feeling confident.
• New Sunday race time; 13:00 local time (05.00 CET).
Saturday morning’s FP3 session proved to be largely dry, meaning that riders were able to improve on their Friday times. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were ready for this and slotted into the Top 5 early on. When the chequered flag flew Rins was 5th and Iannone 10th, allowing them direct passage to Q2.
In FP4 there was a sudden heavy downpour which forced riders to change to wet tyres, Rins and Iannone were 5th and 6th respectively before the rain fell.
With the rain becoming heavier and the track becoming dangerously waterlogged, officials took the decision to delay the qualifying sessions. When Q2 eventually got underway the conditions were still difficult to manage. Iannone and Rins showed very promising pace, with the Italian topping the fast Sector 4. In the closing moments the pair were bumped to 4th and 8th respectively.
A subsequent penalisation for Marc Marquez, which saw him demoted 6 grid-positions, means Andrea Iannone will now start from 3rd place.
Tomorrow’s NEW SCHEDULE now sees Warm-Up take place at 08:40 LT (01:40 CET) and the race brought forward two hours to 13:00 LT (05:00 CET). This is intended to avoid the wettest part of the day.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“In the end we somehow managed this wet qualifying, despite the very difficult conditions. I think we could have been higher up the grid, but Andrea was impeded a little on his flying lap and Alex decided to stay out on one tyre. However, the penalty for Marquez now puts Andrea on the front row. 3rd and 8th is OK, we are in good positions to have a strong race tomorrow, even in the wet. So let’s see!”
“Today has not been easy, but it was much better than yesterday because we improved a lot with the bike and the feeling. I end today with a positive feeling and this is important for me. Unfortunately in my last flying lap I got held up at corner 9 and I lost 4-tenths of a second, without that my final time could have been even faster. That was a shame but finally I will start on the first row which is a good position. Tomorrow will be hard but we feel ready.”
“I think today was a really good and solid day, especially as we tested our rhythm with used tyres and it wasn’t bad. Qualifying was a bit of a shame because our strategy could have been different, if I had stopped to change the tyre I could have been closer to the front. But we’re happy with the grid position anyway and we’ll try and get a good start tomorrow and be fast.”
GP of Malaysia – Qualifying Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 2’12.161
2. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’12.709 0.548 / 0.548
3. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’13.009 0.848 / 0.300
4. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’13.097 0.936 / 0.088
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO 2’13.183 1.022 / 0.086
6. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 2’13.274 1.113 / 0.091
7. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 2’13.413 1.252 / 0.139
8. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’13.463 1.302 / 0.050
9. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 2’14.185 2.024 / 0.722
10. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 2’14.443 2.282 / 0.258
11. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’14.856 2.695 / 0.413
12. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’15.340 3.179 / 0.484
13. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’13.786 Q1
14. Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 2’13.823 Q1
15. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 2’13.971 Q1
16. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’14.132 Q1
17. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’14.332 Q1
18. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’14.843 Q1
19. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’14.994 Q1
20. Stefan BRADL LCR Honda CASTROL 2’15.364 Q1
21. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 2’15.679 Q1
22. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 2’16.558 Q1
23. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’16.825 Q1
81 Jordi TORRES Reale Avintia Racing NQ
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.