Team Suzuki Press Office – August 4th
Andrea Iannone: 8th – 1:55.270 (+ 0.581)
Alex Rins: 9th – 1:55.431 (+ 0.742)
Sylvain Guintoli 21st – 1:57.037 (+ 1.499)
• Iannone strong on one lap pace and race pace.
• Rins’ hard work in FP4 and Q1 pays off.
• Guintoli improving despite lingering injury.
Saturday morning’s FP3 session was an important one with the track at near-optimum temperature and the riders keen to cement a place in Q2. Andrea Iannone hovered around the Top 5 for the entire session, while Alex Rins missed out on a Top 10 placing, despite being less than a second off the top time.
For Rins FP4 was a session of fine-tuning settings ready to push for a fast lap in Q1. Iannone, already into Q2, could instead concentrate on race set-up and simulation. The Italian used one set of tyres for the entire session.
An exciting and dramatic Q1 session saw a determined Alex Rins push hard and take his place in the final qualifying session. Meanwhile, Sylvain Guintoli improved and closed Q1 in 11th, meaning a 21st place grid spot for the French Wild Card. The track temperature reached 51c for Q2 and the session was highly competitive. Iannone and Rins fought their way to the front row but were knocked down the order in the closing seconds. However, the pairing will start 8th and 9th respectively for tomorrow’s race.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Today we were working very well with race pace, especially in FP4 where both Andrea and Alex had good pace, this is a very good sign for the race. Then in qualifying we wanted to do a little bit better, but anyway both riders are on the third row. Alex did a good recovery because he had to go through Q1, and he managed to qualify in 9th. The positions are not bad for the race because our pace is good, but of course lower grid positions require more effort at the beginning of the race. I hope we don’t lose too much time because I think we have the pace to stay in the top group. But let’s see tomorrow, it’s very hot and the conditions will be difficult. Sylvain also did a very good job, qualifying in front of many permanent riders despite carrying an injury he got at the Suzuka 8 hours last week.”
“Qualifying was really difficult because the lap times were unbelievable and everybody was very fast and close on times. But in any case, I think we’ve worked in a good direction this weekend. In FP4 we rode really well with good pace and a good feeling with the bike. We just need to improve the rear grip a little for the race. But in terms of consistency I think we’re going in a good way. I hope tomorrow we can improve, but I’m happy and I will try my best. I think the race will be very close.”
“It looks like our race pace is quite good. In FP4 we did a great job with the hard rear tyre, and I will race with this one. We definitely can’t race with the soft tyre. I feel confident with the bike, and I was able to make it to Q2 which was good news. Third row for tomorrow is quite good, we need to start well, manage the early laps, and try to overtake some riders. If I’m with the front group I can go with them, I will try to do an intelligent race.”
“I’m happy with the weekend so far, we’ve been progressing every day. In qualifying I managed to put five guys behind me, so that’s quite good for me as I’m just doing a Wild Card appearance. Unfortunately I crashed during the Suzuka 8 Hour race last weekend and the pain has been quite bad. I did an X-Ray at lunchtime and I have two broken ribs so now I know why I have the pain. We’ll try to manage this, but I can’t recommend riding a GP bike with broken ribs! But everything else is going well and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
GP of CESKÉ REPUBLIKY – Qualifying Classification:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’54.689
2. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’54.956 0.267 / 0.267
3. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’54.961 0.272 / 0.005
4. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 1’55.038 0.349 / 0.077
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’55.055 0.366 / 0.017
6. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’55.203 0.514 / 0.148
7. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’55.221 0.532 / 0.018
8. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’55.270 0.581 / 0.049
9. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’55.431 0.742 / 0.161
10. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1’55.474 0.785 / 0.043
11. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’55.686 0.997 / 0.212
12. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’55.823 1.134 / 0.137
13. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’56.029 Q1
14. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1’56.031 Q1
15. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’56.218 Q1
16. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1’56.285 Q1
17. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’56.316 Q1
18. Stefan BRADL HRC Honda Team 1’56.330 Q1
19. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’56.353 Q1
20. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’56.512 Q1
21. Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’57.037 Q1
22. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1’57.208 Q1
23. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1’57.217 Q1
24. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’57.250 Q1
25. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’57.438 Q1
26. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1’58.048 Q1
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR