Tough Day In Tricky Conditions In Sepang

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 27.

Andrea Iannone: P13 – 2’01.740 +1.069
Alex Rins: P22 – 2’04.381 +3.710

The first day at the Malaysian Grand Prix was dominated and affected by the weather. Rain poured early in the morning which left the track slippery, with riders uncertain about the best setup. Later in the afternoon the situation became more consistent with steady rain. In these unsettled conditions the combined classification left Andrea Iannone in 13th and Alex Rins in 22nd.

At the beginning of the morning session, Iannone decided to wait a while to better evaluate the track conditions, and then took to the track with a dry setup. Under those conditions he was able to set his GSX-RR in the top ten in classification, with a best lap of 2’01.740. At the end of the first practice session he slid back to 13th position effectively exiting the “Q2” zone. Getting a better feeling with the bike in the afternoon in full wet conditions, he worked out a more effective setup that helped establish a consistent presence in the top part of the timesheet. His best time of 2’13.483 was worthy of the 9th place in the session, although it did not change the combined classification.

There were more struggles for Rins who had difficulties in adapting to the unusual weather. Out at the very beginning with a wet setup, he tried to gain confidence on the circuit, without much success. His best time in the morning (2’04.381) set him in 22nd place, which is also his provisional position in the combined classification for the day. Feeling much better on the bike in the afternoon, he regained his confidence and effectiveness on the track. He was able to maintain a place in the top ten during the second session. His best lap time of 2’13.416 placed him 8th of the session, where he demonstrated an impressive pace.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Yet another very complicated Friday due to the weather. This morning it’s been a shame that Andrea could not stay into the top ten, even if it was only by very little at the last minute of the session. In contrast, Alex struggled more in those conditions, a little dry a little wet. The afternoon went better on a completely wet track. Both riders were consistently in the top ten, and although this doesn’t help for the Q2, it’s a good sign that we can be competitive. We have to finalize the setup and electronics, but I’d say we are not bad in the wet. Anyway, this will be a entire weekend where we will need to keep an eye on the weather and be quick to adapt.”

Andrea Iannone
“I’m not satisfied at all with this first day because we struggled a lot; we couldn´t be as fast as we would like. These have been two difficult sessions, especially in the morning with the track in mixed conditions. We had troubles. We struggle in acceleration and we can’t take advantage of the power we have. There’s a lot of spin and this keeps us from being as fast as we’d like. We will try to figure out why and how to solve this. It’s a problem we suffer both in dry and wet conditions. I hope we will be able to make some improvements that could help us to reach our potential and get near the top.”

Alex Rins
“The first day in Sepang was a bit strange with tricky conditions. In the morning during FP1, the track was half wet and half dry, so it was difficult to set a good pace. I struggled a bit with my feel on the bike and I couldn’t ride as I would have liked to. In the afternoon we had completely wet conditions and the situation changed. I felt much better in the wet with the bike and we were able to take a step forward.”

GP of Malaysia – Combined classification of Day 1:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 2’00.671
2. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 2’00.742 +0.071
3. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2’00.807 +0.136
4. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2’00.903 +0.232
5. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 2’00.950 +0.279
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 2’01.060 +0.389
7. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 2’01.077 +0.406
8. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 2’01.147 +0.476
9. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 2’01.162 +0.491
10. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 2’01.189 +0.518
11. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 2’01.560 +0.889
12. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2’01.662 +0.991
13. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2’01.740 +1.069
14. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2’01.803 +1.132
15. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2’01.831 +1.160
16. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 2’02.416 +1.745
17. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2’02.469 +1.798
18. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 2’03.056 +2.385
19. Michael VAN DER MARK, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2’03.473 +2.802
20. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2’03.531 +2.860
21. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2’03.534 +2.863
22. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2’04.381 +3.710

Story issued by Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

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