Team Suzuki Press Office – November 11.
Andrea Iannone: P3 – 1’30.399 +0.502
Alex Rins: P10 – 1’30.972 +1.075
Andrea Iannone capitalized on the positive improvements made at the weekend and put together a very effective qualifying round, with one lap in 1’30.399 that gave him third place in classification and tomorrow’s grid. A consistent Alex Rins took 10th place with 1’30.972.
It was a good start to the day for both Iannone and Rins, who settled their GSX-RRs in the top ten at the beginning of the session. As the times began improving lap by lap, Iannone was able to take advantage of the better feeling with the bike and clock 1’30.501 which gave him 3rd place in the session’s classification, and also third in the combined. The young Rins made even bigger improvements compared to yesterday’s performance, cutting nearly one second off his FP2 time and getting under the 1’31 wall. The 1’30.846 in today’s FP3 was 5th fastest of the session and 6th fasted in the combined. This was enough to get direct access to Q2.
Not having to dispute the Q1 session, both riders could focus their afternoon on FP4 and Q2. In the early session of the afternoon, Iannone and Rins demonstrated a solid and fast pace, finalizing good setups for tomorrow. In qualifying things heated up, with many riders improving their lap times considerably. Iannone gained confidence during the battle and kept his performance alongside the top part of the class. His ability to take advantage of the new tyres in the last round paid off with the 3rd place finish, which gives him a good chance in tomorrow race.
There is also a good chance for a positive GP for Alex Rins, who classified tenth in qualifying, but has a renewed enthusiasm for the direct access to Q2. He also showed his performance was both solid and consistent in terms of pace.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“So far it has been a nice weekend and it is beautiful to get back in front row after a very difficult season. Since yesterday Andrea has been able to ride very fast and he continued to do so today. Finally he got in the front row, so hopefully he will be able to make a good start, keep pace with the top guys, and complete a good race. Alex is having a good weekend as well. He had a great FP3, going into Q2 directly. He is starting from 10th position, but he can have a good race. We have a good pace with both riders so we hope to finish the season in the best way, with a nice race.
“The qualifying has been very positive. I’m happy also because we´ve been fast consistently throughout all the sessions. We struggled but we managed to be close to the fastest. We did a great job and I feel in shape. I feel confident and I hope to get a good result in the race. The race itself won’t be easy; we are still missing something in the pace and moreover, we will need to manage the tyres well and conserve them for the final seven or eight laps. We have some room for improvement. The engineers already have some ideas; we will try to work something out in the warm-up. The start will be important as well, both the first corner and the early laps.”
“It´s been a very positive weekend. I’m very happy with the work during FP3 and FP4. We achieved the first goal, to get into the Q2, and the next goal will be to finish at least in the Top 10. Now we have to check which the best tyre to use for the race is. It will depend on the track temperature.”
GP of Valencia – Qualifying classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’29.897
2. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’30.246 +0.349
3. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’30.399 +0.502
4. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’30.460 +0.563
5. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’30.589 +0.692
6. Michele PIRRO, Ducati Team – 1’30.764 +0.867
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’30.848 +0.951
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’30.857 +0.960
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’30.961 +1.064
10. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’30.972 +1.075
11. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’31.044 +1.147
12. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’31.190 +1.293
13. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’31.030 (Q1)
14. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’31.197 (Q1)
15. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’31.216 (Q1)
16. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’31.297 (Q1)
17. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’31.300 (Q1)
18. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’31.325 (Q1)
19. Mika KALLIO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’31.361 (Q1)
20. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’31.487 (Q1)
21. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’31.578 (Q1)
22. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’31.625 (Q1)
23. Loris BAZ Reale Avintia Racing – 1’31.775 (Q1)
24. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’31.816 (Q1)
25. Michael VAN DER MARK, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’32.504 (Q1)
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR