Team Suzuki Press Office – October 6.
Andrea Iannone: 6th – 1:30.419 (+ 0.331)
Alex Rins: 11th – 1:30.738 (+ 0.650)
• Andrea Iannone strong on second row.
• Alex Rins works hard to go through Q1.
• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR ready for first ever Thai race.
After an opening day of reacquainting themselves with Buriram circuit and working on setup, it was down to business on Saturday at Chang International. Friday had been marked by very high pace and close margins between riders, and this theme continued.
In FP3, despite both riders showing strong pace, the drama filled session saw Alex Rins pushed out of the Top 10. FP4 was used to finalise settings and tyre options in the boiling conditions.
Alex Rins worked hard to ensure his way through Q1 and into final qualifying, he placed himself 2nd early on and fought to keep hold of the position.
For Q2 the track temperatures were back to a sizzling 50°c and despite the short lap the strategy would be crucial. Andrea Iannone was looking on course for a front row start and was on a provisional pole lap when he ran wide. Despite being just 0.331 seconds from the top he finished in 6th place. The Italian will therefore start from the second row for tomorrow’s 26 lap race. Alex Rins worked well during Q2 and took 11th place, just 0.650 seconds from pole.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Andrea did a good job, managing to get second row for tomorrow’s race. He has good pace, although we still have some improvements to make with the bike. But we’ll try for a good race and hope to follow the top group. Alex managed well to go from Q1 to Q2 but then he could only take 11th place, he also has good pace but he’ll need to work very hard at the start. Both riders have the possibility to have a good race, but for Alex it will be much more difficult. Of course, tyre management will be an important element, so we will try to help our riders as much as we can setting up the bikes and then they will try to fight in the race.”
“It was a really difficult qualifying because the temperature was so high and also I was struggling a lot with grip. But in the end we were able to get 6th position, second row is really important for us, especially at this track. Tomorrow morning we’ll try to look for some improvements, especially on the braking points, because at the moment I’m not managing that really well and lap-by-lap the feeling gets worse. Anyway, 6th position is good and I’ll give my best for a strong race, although I think there are one or two riders who could get away.”
“We did a good job today with the race pace in FP4. Then we had to get from Q1 to Q2. The target was to try and improve the lap time from Q1 to Q2 and I was able to do that. So tomorrow morning in Warm-Up we need to try the tyres again, because today the grip level was higher than yesterday and with the soft tyre the feeling was good, but we don’t know if that will be an option tomorrow. Although I was consistent with the hard tyre too. Usually I’m able to get good starts but at this track it’s difficult, anyway, I’ll give 100% to be as near the top as possible.”
GP of Thailand – Qualifying Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’30.088
2. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’30.099 0.011 / 0.011
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’30.227 0.139 / 0.128
4. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’30.328 0.240 / 0.101
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’30.356 0.268 / 0.028
6. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’30.419 0.331 / 0.063
7. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’30.458 0.370 / 0.039
8. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’30.471 0.383 / 0.013
9. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’30.599 0.511 / 0.128
10. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’30.660 0.572 / 0.061
11. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’30.738 0.650 / 0.078
12. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1’30.976 0.888 / 0.238
13. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’30.923 Q1
14. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’30.995 Q1
15. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.207 Q1
16. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’31.243 Q1
17. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1’31.374 Q1
18. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’31.389 Q1
19. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.399 Q1
20. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1’31.686 Q1
21. Jordi TORRES Reale Avintia Racing 1’31.819 Q1
22. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’31.830 Q1
23. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’31.835 Q1
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR