Rins Close To The Top Ten While Iannone Struggles After A Crash

MGP-10-Andrea Iannone-R1
Team Suzuki Press Office – Aug 6.

Alex Rins: 11th place – +33.290
Andrea Iannone: 19th place – +1’23.346

There are bittersweet feelings in Team SUZUKI ECSTAR after the Czech Republic GP, where a flag-to-flag race saw an upbeat Rins finish in 11th place and a very unlucky Iannone in 19th.

When the race was declared wet, all riders started with their rain tyres and wet setup. Rins held his starting position early and Iannone was able to improve his position. From the very beginning of the race, the track began to dry out, so the riders started to enter the pits to swap bikes. Iannone entered the pits and crossed paths with another rider who was leaving his garage, thus incurring a slide and crash that damaged his machine. He was also injured when struck both in the head and leg. In the accident he also hit Rins’ GSX-RR, which fell to the ground damaging the handlebars.

Iannone was able to rejoin the race but with a significant delay that prevented him from improving on his position, despite his lap time in the end of the race being in line with the riders in the top ten. The damage to Rins’ machine also complicated his race; however, the young Spaniard was able to fight for the top ten. Only at the last turn of the race did his position drop and he had to settle for 11th place.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“This weekend was very important as it was the beginning of the second half of the season. The race was again in very difficult conditions, as it was a flag to flag. In these conditions Alex did a very good job. It’s a pity he couldn’t finish in the top ten, just at the end. But he managed to fight in the middle group and for sure this taught him a lot. It is also a good improvement for us and his crew. Andrea did a good job this weekend. With the new solutions we brought from Japan, we would have been able to improve our performance and take a step forward with the bike, but in the end the accident in the pit lane affected the race and removed all his chances, despite his good pace. On the positive side, we feel we increased our capability. We have one day of testing here tomorrow when we will try to finalize these improvements and then go to Austria with renewed enthusiasm.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“This has been a very unlucky weekend for Andrea. Everything happened. Yesterday he had a problem with the bike in qualifying and today the crash in the pit lane, where he hit leg and head, compromising his race. Moreover, at the race start the spare bike had the same wet setting of the race bike, and when Andrea entered the pit to swap the bike the dry setting was not ready yet and we lost some more time. Also Alex’s race was compromised by this race accident, because during the crash in the pit lane Andrea’s bike hit Alex’s bike, which also fell on the ground and the right handlebar was bent. Alex then had to ride with a machine which was not in its optimal condition. This is why we were affected with both riders by the accident. Not withstanding, we consider ourselves happy for the positive weekend of Alex. I hope it has been an important step in his growth. He gave up tenth position only in the very last lap. He managed the bike swap well and did it at the right time. He kept a consistent pace and yesterday he missed the Q2 by only 0.006s. Let’s hope that this weekend will represent a good starting point for Alex to mature, while with Andrea we will make the most of tomorrow’s test not only for testing new solutions for the bike, but also to cancel out this race and move on.”

Alex Rins
“It has been a very complicated race because of the weather conditions. When we entered in the pit lane to change motorbikes we were well placed and I felt strong. After changing the bike, in the first few laps, it felt very strange and I couldn’t make sense of it. I could not keep up the rhythm I had and I did not know why. When I returned to the box it was explained to me that Andrea’s bike had hit my bike during the fall, and the handlebars had been damaged. So in spite of everything I am happy with what we have been able to do this weekend. We have taken an important step forward in the set-up and I have been able to enjoy a lot of driving thanks to the team’s work.”

Andrea Iannone
“I think I’ve made a good start. I’m satisfied with the positions I got back in the first laps. I think we could have had a good race. I entered the pits on the fourth lap, but we encountered the unfortunate situation that as I was entering, Aleix Espargaró was leaving. To avoid each other, I had to break on top of a draining grate; otherwise I would have hit him. In these cases the regulation speaks clearly and the Race Direction has already taken measures. I could not do more than I did. Anyway, even if we had not had this problem, our race would have been compromised because the bike was not ready with the dry setup and this is not a matter of bad luck. I am happy because I see a lot of work from Japan and they try hard to give me a competitive bike. Tomorrow we have a very important test and we will try to understand how we can improve for the future.”

GP of the Czech Republic – Final race classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 44’15.974
2. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – +12.438
3. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – +18.135
4. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – +20.466
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – +20.892
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – +23.259
7. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – +24.079
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +30.559
9. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +30.754
10. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – +33.236
11. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +33.290
12. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – +34.595
13. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – +34.697
14. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – +38.062
15. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – +40.100
16. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – +44.376
17. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – +45.454
18. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +53.976
19. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +1’23.346
20. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – +1 Lap

MotoGP World Standing 2017 after the GP of The Czech Republic:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Honda – 154
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Yamaha – 140
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati – 133
4. Valentino ROSSI, Yamaha – 132
5. Dani PEDROSA, Honda – 123
6. Johann ZARCO, Yamaha – 88
7. Jonas FOLGER, Yamaha – 77
8. Danilo PETRUCCI, Ducati – 75
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, Honda – 75
10. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati – 66
11. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Ducati – 44
12. Jack MILLER, Honda – 43
13. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia – 40
14. Scott REDDING, Ducati – 33
15. Loris BAZ, Ducati – 31
16. Andrea IANNONE, Suzuki – 28
17. Karel ABRAHAM, Ducati – 23
18. Tito RABAT, Honda – 23
19. Pol ESPARGARO, KTM – 21
20. Hector BARBERA Ducati – 21
21. Alex RINS, Suzuki – 12
22. Bradley SMITH, KTM – 8
23. Michele PIRRO, Ducati – 7
24. Sam LOWES, Aprilia – 2
25 Sylvain GUINTOLI, Suzuki – 1

Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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