Team Suzuki Press Office – October 31.
The Malaysian GP will be the penultimate round of the season, and also the last one of the long series of fly aways – part of an exciting succession of races which has so far seen Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders take three podiums in four races.
Andrea Iannone is fresh from his second place only a few days ago in Phillip Island and he will be taking this momentum as a further push to try and end the season in the best possible way. He feels that the competitiveness of his GSX-RR and his riding is very close to that of the best contenders, thus giving him high hopes for a positive race in Sepang, despite the hot and humid weather expected there.
Alex Rins got a result below his expectations in Australia, but he could take important lessons from his solid 5th place. His performance in Japan was good, taking third place in the race, thus his confidence with the bike is getting better and better and he now has a well deserved place among the fastest riders.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We arrive in Sepang after a few good races: a solid podium performance in Aragon and then two more podiums in Japan and Australia with both riders. This means we are working in a positive way, and having both riders close to the top is proof that we are in good shape overall. To continue like that would be a good way to close the season, and we’re getting a real morale boost from these great results. The Sepang circuit can also be ‘kind’ to our bike despite some “difficult” points, so we will stay focused on our objective to end the season in the best way.”
“Last year’s Malaysian GP was a strange race because it was wet, but we showed good performance when the conditions were dry. We arrive after a positive weekend and good moments, I hope we can continue to be as competitive as we expect. Overall Sepang is never to be considered an easy one because it’s always very hot, so we struggle both with the physical condition and the tyre management and choice. We will need to manage everything in the best possible way. The last race in Australia of course gave us positive confidence and I also trust in the work they are doing in Japan, we have the important awareness that we are now very close to the best contenders.”
“In Malaysia I will try to do my best, as always. We will try the maximum and hope to keep the momentum we’ve had in the recent races where we’ve always been in the Top 5. It is true that after the Motegi podium I expected a bit more in Australia, but the race was like that and we have to take the positive points. Sepang is a good track for us, a track we know really well because we usually test there in the pre-season, so we will work hard again to stay in the front positions. Suzuki is working very well in those matters, we need to improve a little more but we are feeling very positive for the coming races.”
The Sepang International Circuit is a very fast and long one, quite different from any of the previous tracks. The hot temperatures and high humidity will make it hard for everyone, especially the riders. With four slow corners following two long straights, and ten medium to high-speed corners, the wide track is particularly favourable to overtaking manoeuvres, but it will also put a lot of stress on the engines. At 5.5 km (3.44 miles) in length it is one the longest circuits on the MotoGP™ calendar, with a main straight measuring 920 metres or 3018.37 ft.
Qualifying: 9th – 2’00.119 +0.907
Race: 17th – +58.391
Qualifying: 8th – 1’59.992 +0.780