Team Suzuki Press Office – April 7.
Alex Rins: 5th – 1:47.743 (+ 0.590)
Andrea Iannone: 12th – 1:49.975 (+ 2.822)
• Alex Rins on second row, his best MotoGP qualifying result.
• Andrea Iannone, 12th, working on wet track feeling.
Saturday’s sessions at Termas de Rio Hondo brought more uncertainty as changeable weather made the track conditions tricky once again.
FP3 and FP4 were wet sessions, which allowed the riders to get a feel for the track and adjust settings ready for the important qualifying session ahead, and both riders found good rhythm, especially in FP4.
After their strong performances on Day 1, Iannone and Rins were directly entered in Q2. This final qualifying session was very difficult with a dry line forming on the track, but some corners remaining very wet. This meant that tyre choice between slick and wet became crucial as the session went on.
Alex Rins, who lost a lap early in the session due to being held up by slowing riders, maintained focus and rhythm and was able to set the provisional pole time, a 1:47.743, with two minutes left on the clock. When the chequered flag went out after some frantic closing moments, the Spaniard held on to a second row start and 5th place – his best MotoGP qualifying result.
Andrea Iannone struggled a bit during Q2, despite good pace during FP4. The Italian eventually closed the session in 12th place with a 1:49.975. In tomorrow morning’s warm-up he will try to find more settings if the session is wet.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Alex did a good job because, of course, the conditions were difficult during qualifying, and he managed to do a very good lap. So we’re happy with this position, tomorrow we can address everything and see if it’s dry or wet, but it looks like we can be competitive in both conditions. Starting from the second row we have to try to stay with the top group and see what happens. Unfortunately, Andrea couldn’t use the qualifying session properly, I think we had the potential to do much better, but he couldn’t get a clear lap. He’ll start from 12th but let’s see. The big question mark will be about the conditions – wet or dry. I think we can try to do a good race with both riders.”
“I’m very happy because this qualifying position is my best result in MotoGP. And I’m excited because we didn’t expect it in these conditions, it was really difficult to be fast…but we did it, so I’m quite happy! Slicks were impossible because the all of the third sector was very wet. But I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow starting from the second row.”
“Today Alex could go to the limit during qualifying, but when I first left the box with the soft tyre I didn’t have any feeling, so I decided to change and with the medium it was much better, I could go a bit faster, and I was improving. I need to understand some of the strange feelings, where sometimes the bike is moving a lot. We made some improvements, but the others improved incredibly so I suffered a little. Tomorrow we’ll see, it’s a pity to start back on the grid because we have good feelings on this track in ‘normal’ conditions, in the dry. But I think we have a good bike, and we’ll try tomorrow to have a good race.”
GP of Argentina – Qualifying Classification:
1. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’47.153
2. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’47.330 0.177 / 0.177
3. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’47.365 0.212 / 0.035
4. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’47.681 0.528 / 0.316
5. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’47.743 0.590 / 0.062
6. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’47.754 0.601 / 0.011
7. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’47.845 0.692 / 0.091
8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’48.247 1.094 / 0.402
9. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’49.044 1.891 / 0.797
10. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’49.304 2.151 / 0.260
11. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’49.326 2.173 / 0.022
12. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’49.975 2.822 / 0.649
13. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1’49.878 Q1
14. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 1’50.063 Q1
15. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’50.175 Q1
16. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’50.324 Q1
17. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1’50.364 Q1
18. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’50.449 Q1
19. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1’50.606 Q1
20. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’50.833 Q1
21. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’51.007 Q1
22. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’51.012 Q1
23. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’51.142 Q1
24. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’51.387 Q1
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR