Team Suzuki Press Office – May 4.
Andrea Iannone: 4th – 1:38.709 (+ 0.095)
Alex Rins: 13th – 1:39.575 (+ 0.961)
• Iannone fast with a very good feeling with the GSX-RR..
• Alex Rins working on the pace to prepare the race
The first day in Southern Spain’s newly named Circuit of Jerez – Angel Nieto saw sunny skies and plenty of improvements for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders. The tight and technical circuit was predicted to be a challenge for the GSX-RR’s characteristics, but early signs show that Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins are able to overcome and adapt.
The morning’s FP1 session was used for getting the feel of the resurfaced track, but Andrea Iannone was able to start the session well and maintain lap times around the Top 10, even on a used tyre. For Alex Rins it was a more difficult start to proceedings as he familiarised himself with the circuit and the feel of a MotoGP bike here – the Spaniard missed the Jerez race last year due to his arm injury.
Any clouds moved away in time for the afternoon’s FP2 session and Iannone and Rins used this vital session to build on their morning progress. Both riders began FP2 with the medium-medium tyre combination and by the session mid-point the pair were hovering around the Top 5. Alex Rins continued to find improvements throughout the session and Andrea Iannone, using a soft-medium combo for the closing moments, was able to set a series of quick laps. The Italian finished the session just 0.095 seconds behind the fastest time, and 0.004 behind 3rd overall. Both Iannone and Rins improved by around 1 second on their morning times, and the pair registered second and third in sector 2.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“It was a good day, especially for Andrea, who was fast in both sessions and had a very good pace this morning with a used tyre. This afternoon he confirmed his pace again with good laps and a good session, so he seems to be quite happy about the feeling with the bike. So we just have to check what we can improve tomorrow and continue like this. Alex struggled a little bit more, but this morning he did a lot of work in terms of thinking about the race and trying to find the feeling. It seems we have room for improvement and tomorrow we’ll look for something extra.”
“I’m really happy about today, we worked really well and things are going in a good way. The feeling with the bike is not bad, and between this morning and this afternoon we improved a bit more, which is interesting for us. I didn’t expect this speed on this track because last year we struggled a lot, but in any case today we are very close to the top, and this is the most important thing. We confirmed that we are close, and tomorrow is the most important day because of the qualifying – it’s important that we start from the front or second row, this will be key for the race. On the slow corners we struggle, but on the fast corners we can take the advantage, so it’s a compromise.”
“We did a good job today, the target was to try to find the set-up of the bike rather than to push for a good position. This morning we focused a bit on the tyres, and this afternoon we tried the medium tyre and tried to get a good set-up and analysis of the bike for the race day. Things are working well, we had a test here in November with the team and it was my first contact with Jerez on the MotoGP bike. We need to adjust a few things and try to find improvements on the slow corners.”
GP of Spain – Combined Classification after Day 1:
1. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1:38.614 (FP2)
2. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1:38.642 0.028 / 0.028 (FP2)
3. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:38.705 0.091 / 0.063 (FP2)
4. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:38.709 0.095 / 0.004 (FP2)
5. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1:38.863 0.249 / 0.154 (FP2)
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1:39.068 0.454 / 0.205 (FP2)
7. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 1:39.076 0.462 / 0.008 (FP2)
8. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1:39.102 0.488 / 0.026 (FP2)
9. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:39.248 0.634 / 0.146 (FP2)
10. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:39.311 0.697 / 0.063 (FP1)
11. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1:39.429 0.815 / 0.118 (FP1)
12. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:39.514 0.900 / 0.085 (FP2)
13. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1:39.541 0.927 / 0.027 (FP2)
14. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:39.575 0.961 / 0.034 (FP2)
15. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:39.585 0.971 / 0.010 (FP1)
16. Mika KALLIO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:39.661 1.047 / 0.076 (FP2)
17. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1:39.694 1.080 / 0.033 (FP2)
18. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1:39.888 1.274 / 0.194 (FP2)
19. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:39.899 1.285 / 0.011 (FP1)
20. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:39.948 1.334 / 0.049 (FP2)
21. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:39.951 1.337 / 0.003 (FP2)
22. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1:39.969 1.355 / 0.018 (FP2)
23. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:40.241 1.627 / 0.272 (FP2)
24. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:40.488 1.874 / 0.247 (FP2)
25. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1:40.663 2.049 / 0.175 (FP2)
Story issued [email protected] Team SUZUKI ECSTAR