Team Suzuki Press Office – Aug 4.
Alex Rins: 13th place – 1’56.460 (Q1)
Andrea Iannone: 20th place – 1’57.245 (Q1)
The rookie Alex Rins made very decisive improvements today and was able to score a brilliant 1’56.460, unfortunately not enough for getting into the Q2. He will start the race from the 13th place, missing out by only 0.006s. Andrea Iannone on the other hand suffered some technical problems on the bike during the Q1 that prevented him from improving on the 1’57.245 that gave him 20th place.
The morning session saw both Iannone and Rins work hard to improve on their single lap times in an attempt to get the access to the Q2. Their improvements were positive, although did not allow them to achieve direct access, ending respectively in 12th and 17th position.
The FP4 saw Rins having a consistent and positive pace, while Iannone suffered a crash that took him off one of only two bikes available, due to the impossibility of fixing it in such a short time before the qualifying. His second bike allowed him to end the session, but had a technical issue when he returned at the end of the 30 minutes. The technicians managed to find a solution that seemed to work, but when he came back to the garage after the first run in Q1, the oil leak was again noted. Thereafter the team to decided to stop him for safety reasons. This removed any possibility to take advantage of the fresh tyres or go for the Q2.
The consistent improvements that Alex Rins is making after his comeback paid off in qualifying. Today is very first time he was able to ride in regular dry conditions since the beginning of the season. He improved his lines and achieved a positive 13th position, missing the access to the top 12 by only 0.006s.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Unfortunately Andrea had very bad luck today: after he crashed in FP4 there was not enough time for the mechanics to fix his machine, then he had some technical issues with his second bike at the end of the FP4. That was an oil leak that we thought could be fixed before the Q1, but then when Andrea came back for a tyre change, we found some more oil leaking and we decided to stop him for safety reasons. It’s a real shame; he was making some improvements and we felt he could be competitive to enter the Q1. We have already identified the problem, so hopefully it won’t be an issue anymore for tomorrow. We’ll exploit the warm up to finalize a good setup that hopefully will allow him to recover some positions. We’re very happy with Alex’s result. He improved a lot and missed the Q2 by only 0.006s. This was his first day in full dry conditions, and he is taking big steps forward considering that he missed nearly half of the championship so far. 13th place is a good position for a positive race, and also considering that his FP4 has been positive as well, he is setting a very good pace.”
“Until this morning things went pretty positively. Yesterday I was able to get a good feeling with the bike and in FP3 I made some improvements. We were pretty confident for FP4 and Q1. In FP4 we tried some different configurations in the setup that gave me further confidence. So I tried to push more, but unfortunately I lost the front in a slow corner and consequently lost the availability of the bike. In Q1 I was pretty confident I could replicate the time scored in the morning and even improve on it, but I couldn’t do it in the first run. Then we had to give up due to a technical problem, which was a minor issue, but it was an oil leak so we preferred not to risk my own safety or to affect the track. It’s a shame because of my position, but my feelings remain positive as I believe we can still make use of more potential from the machine. With a good start and a consistent pace it’s reasonable to aim to the get into the top ten, which would be a good result.”
“Finally I was able to run a qualifying session in full dry conditions and the truth is that I really enjoyed it. I finished very close to the Q2. Missing it is a shame, but it’s also a positive point as it means I am improving session after session. Indeed, we were able to make a lot of progress here, not just here but also in all of the last races since I got back. Every time I jump on my GSX-RR I learn something new and our performances also improve. I feel totally recovered from my injuries and I’m therefore very confident for tomorrow’s race.”
GP of Czech Republic – Qualifying classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’54.981
2. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’55.073 +0.092
3. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’55.119 +0.138
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’55.441 +0.460
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’55.489 +0.508
6. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’55.552 +0.571
7. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’55.663 +0.682
8. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’55.738 +0.757
9. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’56.027 +1.046
10. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’56.075 +1.094
11. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’56.355 +1.374
12. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’56.624 +1.643
13. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’56.460 (Q1)
14. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’56.540 (Q1)
15. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’56.543 (Q1)
16. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’56.685 (Q1)
17. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’56.786 (Q1)
18. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’57.034 (Q1)
19. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’57.042 (Q1)
20. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’57.245 (Q1)
21. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’57.288 (Q1)
22. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’57.465 (Q1)
23. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’57.517 (Q1)
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR