HOT PACE ON OPENING DAY AT CHANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 5.

Andrea Iannone: 6th – 1:31.256 (+ 0.166)
Alex Rins: 15th – 1:31.929 (+ 0.839)

• Andrea Iannone showing early promise.
• Alex Rins working towards the race.
• A day of refamiliarisation with the Thai track.

The first ever Friday action at Buriram saw some extremely close lap times and the predicted boiling temperatures. In FP1 Andrea Iannone was able to show strong pace from the beginning, sitting in 2nd place for much of the session and topping Sector 2, something which pleased the Italian who had previously struggled during the Thai winter test. Meanwhile, Alex Rins worked well to recoup time he lost when his bike stopped at the beginning of the session. They were 7th and 14th respectively.

In FP2 Andrea Iannone had a small crash without consequences, and he and Alex Rins worked hard to find settings and try different tyre configurations on the track which was fast approaching 54°c. There was also a focus on the Top 10 as tomorrow’s FP3 could be wet. Iannone once again slotted into 2nd place but was bumped to 6th as the flag came out, the Italian was just +0.166 seconds from the top. Rins slipped to 15th place, +0.839 from the top.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We were quite busy today because it was the first day in Buriram, and basically the tyres are all different from when we came here to test, so the main job was to try to understand the best tyre options. The temperature of the track is very high and it’s and we tried a few different configurations and collected some information. Andrea had a crash this afternoon, but luckily he is OK. He did a great job because he was fast as soon as he got back on the bike. Alex worked a lot more on race pace and different tyre options today, but we have to continue again tomorrow in FP3 while trying to improve the settings and get ready for the time attack.”

Andrea Iannone
“For sure we started well, but the temperature is really high which makes it really difficult, but we’re trying to do our best. We struggled a little bit this afternoon, and I crashed at Turn 4 but fortunately I am OK. The feeling with the bike is not bad, but we need to improve a bit on the electronics side because we have a lot of movement and sliding, the grip is really low. In any case, we have a really clear idea of what we want to improve and we’ll try tomorrow. Today 6 or 7 riders were covered by a tenth of a second, so qualifying will be difficult. But today I used the medium tyres for the fast lap, not the soft.”

Alex Rins
“In the morning I had a small problem with the bike and it distracted me a little bit from my work, and I lost about 15 minutes. But in the afternoon we improved the lap time compared with FP1, and the race pace with a used tyre was good, even when riding alone. So we just need to work a bit more to improve and hopefully find a really good feeling like I had in the test here. The temperatures are much higher than during the test and that changes the performance, but it’s the same for everybody and we’ll keep working.”

Info.
Circuit: Chang International Circuit
Air Temperature: 30c
Track Temperature: 54c
Humidity: 56%

GP of Thailand – Combined Classification after Day 1:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’31.090 (FP2)
2. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’31.121 0.031 / 0.031 (FP2)
3. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’31.164 0.074 / 0.043 (FP2)
4. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’31.188 0.098 / 0.024 (FP2)
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’31.238 0.148 / 0.050 (FP2)
6. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’31.256 0.166 / 0.018 (FP2)
7. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1’31.378 0.288 / 0.122 (FP2)
8. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’31.385 0.295 / 0.007 (FP2)
9. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’31.398 0.308 / 0.013 (FP2)
10. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’31.421 0.331 / 0.023 (FP2)
11. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’31.486 0.396 / 0.065 (FP2)
12. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’31.647 0.557 / 0.161 (FP2)
13. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’31.714 0.624 / 0.067 (FP2)
14. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.841 0.751 / 0.127 (FP2)
15. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’31.929 0.839 / 0.088 (FP2)
16. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 1’32.027 0.937 / 0.098 (FP2)
17. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’32.067 0.977 / 0.040 (FP2)
18. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’32.177 1.087 / 0.110 (FP2)
19. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’32.191 1.101 / 0.014 (FP1)
20. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1’32.403 1.313 / 0.226
(FP2)
21. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’32.475 1.385 / 0.072 (FP2)
22. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’32.661 1.571 / 0.011 (FP2)
23. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1’32.989 1.899 / 0.328 (FP2)
24. Jordi TORRES Reale Avintia Racing 1’33.406 2.316 / 0.417 (FP1)

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