Solid Improvements On Day 1 At Phillip Island

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 20.

Andrea IANNONE: P7 – 1’29.604 (+0.379)
Alex RINS: P15 – 1’30.085 (+0.860)

Sunny yet bracingly cold weather welcomed Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins on their first day of practice at the Australian GP, where the Italian was able to get 7th place in the combined classification (1’29.604) and the Spaniard is in a provisional 15th place (1’30.085).

Still buzzing from his performance in Japan, Iannone took to the track this morning and immediately had a good feeling with his GSX-RR, managing to keep his name in the top of the sheets for the whole FP1. His 1’29.857 – worthy of 6th place – was even more valuable considering that he was one of the only riders who were able to run the whole session without changing a single tyre. Some setup modifications in the afternoon allowed him and the team to make further progress, and his lap time improved by more than two tenths of a second, putting him only 0.379s from today’s leader. His performance gives him provisional direct access to Q2.

Some more struggles for Rins as the wind substantially affected his touch for the bike in the morning; he was not able to lap faster than 1’31.329, slotting him into the 17th time. With some modifications on the machine and more experience on Phillip Island´s fast circuit, the young Spaniard later made a big step forward in his lap time when he improved by 1.3s from this morning´s timed session. The current provisional 15th place does not give him direct access to Q2, but the distance from the top ten is only a little more than three tenths of a second at the moment.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“I think we started really well on this track. Even in these dry conditions, Andrea was always fast. It seems our bike is well-suited to this track. Andrea is riding pretty well and he only had a small complaint about fixing some electrical issues, but overall he is happy. We know the electronics is one area where we have to improve but we are working really hard. With regards to Alex, he had a great day as well. He completed very good laps. As usual he tries on Friday to adapt to the bike and the layout of the circuit, and then pushes more on Saturday. I would say so far it’s been a good weekend with a promising start, so now we will be focusing on improving with the bike for tomorrow.”

Andrea Iannone
“It’s been a positive day; this morning we had a good start and I raced with consistency for the whole session. We only struggled with the front tyre. The medium has good stability but less grip, while the soft gives me more grip but has some movement. We should be able to find a compromise and get more stability and grip. We can also improve on the rear grip, to get some more traction. We have tremendous potential and already some ideas with which to work tomorrow.”

Alex Rins
“It’s been an encouraging day as we were able to take a clear step forward in the afternoon. This morning I suffered a lot with the wind. That prevented me from feeling at ease, but however we were able to do some interesting tests with the medium tyre. In the afternoon we went more in depth with it, but also switched to the soft tyre. All this work has produced a big improvement in the lap time. Let’s also wait on the weather for tomorrow. We already have some more ideas to improve on a dry track, but if turns rainy, we can use the added experience we have recently gained to our advantage.”

GP of Australia – Classification after Day 1:
1. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’29.225
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’29.230 +0.005
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’29.322 +0.097
4. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’29.329 +0.104
5. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’29.423 +0.198
6. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’29.466 +0.241
7. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’29.604 +0.379
8. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’29.667 +0.442
9. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’29.702 +0.477
10. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’29.760 +0.535
11. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’29.820 +0.595
12. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’29.977 +0.752
13. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’29.987 +0.762
14. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’30.046 +0.821
15. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’30.085 +0.860
16. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’30.140 +0.915
17. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’30.269 +1.044
18. Loris BAZ Reale Avintia Racing – 1’30.274 +1.049
19. Tito RABAT EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’30.546 +1.321
20. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’30.682 +1.457
21. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’30.777 +1.552
22. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’31.688 +2.463
23. Broc PARKES, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’32.152 +2.927

Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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