Team Suzuki Press Office – May.
Andrea Iannone: 3rd (+ 8.214)
Alex Rins: DNF
• Andrea Iannone seals Suzuki’s third podium of four races.
• Alex Rins a victim of a front end crash at his home GP.
• History made in Jerez as the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR take a third consecutive podium.
The fourth race of the 2018 championship saw Andrea Iannone secure the third podium in a row for Suzuki, his second this year, and he also took 4th place in the Riders’ Classification. But there was bad luck for Alex Rins, as he crashed out in the early stages of the race, while running a positive pace close to the Top 5.
The morning Warm-Up session further confirmed the excellent pace which Andrea Iannone has possessed during the entire race weekend, and he finished the 20-minute session in 2nd place, just +0.201 behind the fastest time. Meanwhile, Alex Rins used the session to finalise settings and prepare for the 25 lap race.
When the lights went out, both riders slotted into the fast front group and held their grid positions of 6th and 7th. Andrea Iannone struggled a little at the beginning to find a strong rhythm, while Alex Rins was able to make good progress and overtake some opponents. Finally, a potentially great home GP came to an abrupt end for the young Spaniard when he crashed out with 19 laps to go, without any physical consequences but for unknown reasons that are now still under investigation. Back at the front a huge crash for Pedrosa, Lorenzo, and Dovizioso allowed Andrea Iannone to move into 3rd place with 6 laps left to go. The Italian, who was feeling increasingly more comfortable despite difficult track conditions, responded well to pressure from riders behind him who were all keen to claim the final podium position.
A battle with Danilo Petrucci in the closing stages of the race saw Andrea Iannone and his GSX-RR able to hold off the charge, and claim another fantastic podium, moving him to 4th in the Rider Standings. This third consecutive rostrum is Suzuki’s first triple-podium for 10 years.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“This weekend both of our riders had very good pace, so we expected a little bit more in the race but unfortunately we couldn’t do it and we need to investigate more. It was a strange race with many crashes, including Alex, which was a great pity because he had good speed. But we still got a podium with Andrea and I’m really happy that we could do it, and continue our success as we have now had three podiums. I hope we can continue to get better.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“It has, of course, been very nice to score the third podium in a row, even though we’re aware that we needed some ‘luck’ and unusual circumstances to get this podium. Anyway, that’s racing and it’s like this sometimes. I liked Andrea’s fighting spirit today and when he saw the chance of the podium he fought very hard for it, and he really deserved this result. So we take the points and we continue our route in this championship. We’ll go step-by-step and see what happens, we have many more races to do, and this is good also for Alex because unfortunately there was something strange on the front end of his bike during the race and we have to understand what happened. But I’m happy anyway, because once again he was competitive and he was there with the pace of the top guys. Since the beginning of the season he has been competitive and I’m sure we’ll have many other opportunities to get good results with him.
“I’m really happy about this podium, it’s the second podium in a row for me and the third podium in a row for Suzuki, and for sure it’s a positive moment for us and the feeling with the bike is good so I’m very happy. We worked really well and things are going in a good way, so it’s important that we continue like this for the future. The only regret I have is for the tyre choice: we went to the grid with the medium, then once there we decided to go for the hard and finally this might not have been the best choice. We’ve been very fast the whole weekend with the medium, so maybe we could have been even more competitive with that, but in any case this is yet another lesson that we can learn from. For sure we were a bit ‘lucky’ today with the podium, but also we did very well and I used my head because it was very easy to make a mistake today as the track was very hot and slippery.”
“I don’t really know what happened, I only know that I was feeling really good with myself and the bike. But from the beginning I was struggling a bit with the front, and I didn’t have the same feeling as I had in FP4, but I still had a good rhythm. It’s hard to understand what happened because when I look at the data I was on the same line, I braked with the same intensity, had the same corner speed, but still I lost the front. So we need to try to understand more for the next races. We’ll have two days testing in Mugello and then we’ll head to France, I really like Le Mans and I know I will have a good rhythm and be able to battle.”
GP of Spain – Race Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 41’39.678
2. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +5.241
3. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +8.214
4. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing +8.617
5. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +8.743
6. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing +9.768
7. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +13.543
8. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team +14.076
9. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +16.822
10. Mika KALLIO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +19.405
11. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +21.149
12. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +21.174
13. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +21.765
14.Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing +22.103
15. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +36.755
16. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +41.861
17. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing +49.241
18. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1 Lap
99 Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team
26 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team
35 Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL
12 Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS
42 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
Not Finished 1st Lap
41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
MotoGP World Standings 2018:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 70
2. Johann ZARCO Yamaha 58
3. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 50
4. Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 47
5. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 46
6. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 40
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 38
8. Jack MILLER Ducati 36
9. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 34
10. Tito RABAT Ducati 24
10. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 21
11. Dani PEDROSA Honda 18
12. Alex RINS Suzuki 16
13. Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 13
14. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 13
15. Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 12
16. Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 9
17. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 9
18. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 6
19. Mika KALLIO KTM 6
20. Jorge LORENZO Ducati 6
21. Scott REDDING Aprilia 5
22. Bradley SMITH KTM 3
23. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1
24. Thomas LUTHI Honda
25. Xavier SIMEON Ducati
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR