Team Suzuki Press Office – Aug 12.
Andrea Iannone: 10th – 1’24.185 +0.950
Alex Rins: 21st – 1’24.448 (Q1)
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and Andrea Iannone managed to get a top ten qualifying spot today, with the Italian scoring a best lap of 1’24.185 at the end of the Q2 session that earned him the 10th place. It was 21st place for Alex Rins, who made some improvements but couldn’t do better than 1’24.488.
The morning session has been a very hard fought one, with 17 riders all within less than one second of each other. The improvements made yesterday paid off, with Iannone being able to make use of the positive feel with the GSX-RR to get into third place which gives him the direct access to Q2. It was a bit more of a struggle for Rins who couldn’t get his ticket for the top 12, but had a positive performance overall.
Despite his attempts, Rins struggled in the Q1 to get the perfect lap that would allow him to go and fight with the top 12 riders. His 21st place in the grid will force him into a recovery race even though his pace in FP4 proved to be consistently fast.
A fierce battle put Iannone on the main stage in Q2 where he was able to reach the top three positions briefly; he is consistently improving his performance. By the end of the session he was sitting in tenth place in the grid, with hopes of recovering a few places and of a having a positive race.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“With Andrea we managed to stay in the top ten and tomorrow he will start from a better position than the last races. This is a track where it is possible to stay close to the group; therefore, we have high hopes of recovering a few places. Today we tested his pace and it’s not bad. He looks to have a good feeling with the bike so we hope for a good race. Alex took some steps forward as well, but the competition in Q1 has been very tough and he wasn’t able to be fast enough yet to place higher in the classification. Anyway, the improvements he’s made are positive and so is the pace. Let’s wait and see tomorrow what happens.”
“This has been a positive day. The weekend had already started well yesterday and we did a good job. We improved the bike and gained some confidence. Maybe in qualifying we weren’t able to reach 100% of our potential; we had a problem with bike 1 in FP4 and only had bike 2 available in qualifying. It had a slightly different setup but there was no time to change it. It’s a pity because with the little improvements we had made to bike 1, I was able to make some improvements and this might have helped. Anyway, the pace is very good. We still have some areas that we know we can improve on, hopefully in time for the race.”
“Little by little we are making progress, although I’m still struggling. This is a track where braking is very important and for us this is not one of the strengths of our machine. We made some improvements though. In qualifying I reduced my FP3 lap time by 0.7, which was good, but not enough. I hope for a good race tomorrow.”
GP of Austria – Qualifying classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’23.235
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’23.379 +0.144
3. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’23.621 +0.386
4. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’23.754 +0.519
5. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’23.780 +0.545
6. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’23.879 +0.644
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’23.982 +0.747
8. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’23.985 +0.750
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’24.024 +0.789
10. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’24.185 +0.950
11. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’24.220 +0.985
12. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’24.483 +1.248
13. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’24.015 (Q1)
14. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’24.036 (Q1)
15. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’24.037 (Q1)
16. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’24.101 (Q1)
17. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’24.202 (Q1)
18. Mika KALLIO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’24.261 (Q1)
19. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’24.321 (Q1)
20. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’24.447 (Q1)
21. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’24.448 (Q1)
22. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’24.530 (Q1)
23. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’24.852 (Q1)
24. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’24.900 (Q1)