Two Tight Sessions To Kick Off Le Mans Weekend

Team Suzuki Press Office – May 18

Andrea Iannone: 14th – 1:32.752 (+ 0.816)
Alex Rins: 15th – 1:32.803 (+ 0.867)

• Iannone maintaining good pace in both sessions.
• Alex Rins working on setup and learning track.
• Chilly start making track conditions tricky.

The opening day of the French GP saw cold temperatures in the morning as the riders took to the resurfaced track for the first time, and very tight times in the afternoon.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins used the FP1 session to become acquainted with conditions and find the ideal set-up. Iannone found a good rhythm using the soft-medium tyre combination and the aerodynamic fairing, he dropped into the 1:32 bracket and was just 0.443 seconds from the morning’s fastest time. The Italian was also quick in two out of the four sectors, hinting at potential improvements for the GSX-RR around the French track. Rins approached the session as a MotoGP “rookie”, having missed last year’s Le Mans GP due to injury, he used the entire session to find settings.
In FP2 the track was much warmer and Iannone, largely using the medium-medium combination, hovered around the Top 10 for the majority of the session. Both riders improved their times but finished FP2 in 14th and 15th respectively, although they were not far from the top time in the tight field. Tomorrow’s FP3 session will be crucial as the riders aim to cement a place in Q2.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“It’s been a difficult Friday, and the riders are very close – 16 riders covered by just one second – so we need to be almost ‘perfect’ to get to the front. Of course there is more to do in terms of improving bike settings, so we will work tonight, checking all the data and aiming to improve, and we’ll try again tomorrow morning. Let’s see if we can stay in the Top 10 following the adjustments we make overnight.”

Andrea Iannone
“This morning I found that we needed to improve in some areas, and this afternoon we didn’t improve a lot, but nevertheless everything is going in a good way and we have a clear idea of what we need for tomorrow. The main point is to improve a little bit more, and we hope for this. I feel calm because we worked well at the Mugello test, and we don’t feel the need to change a lot of settings. We struggled a bit today with the braking point and in some of the narrow corners, and when we improve this we can be on a very good level.”

Alex Rins
“Well, I think today was good, we focused a little bit on trying to get confidence with this track because it’s the first time for me here with the MotoGP bike. But I think that the most important thing here today was data and completing laps so the technical guys can try and get a better setup for tomorrow. I think tomorrow I can improve, today the track conditions were OK but I was trying different tyres to test the degradation, and so I never tried a fast lap.”

GP of France – Combined Classification after Day 1:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1:31.936 (FP2)
2. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1:32.104 0.168 / 0.168 (FP2)
3. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:32.179 0.243 / 0.075 (FP2)
4. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:32.204 0.268 / 0.025 (FP2)
5. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:32.279 0.343 / 0.075 (FP2)
6. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1:32.302 0.366 / 0.023 (FP2)
7. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.414 0.478 / 0.112 (FP2)
8. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 1:32.466 0.530 / 0.052 (FP2)
9. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:32.572 0.636 / 0.106 (FP2)
10. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 1:32.576 0.640 / 0.004 (FP2)
11. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1:32.586 0.650 / 0.010 (FP2)
12. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1:32.617 0.681 / 0.031 (FP2)
13. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1:32.647 0.711 / 0.030 (FP2)
14. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:32.752 0.816 / 0.105 (FP2)
15. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:32.803 0.867 / 0.051 (FP2)

16. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 1:32.851 0.915 / 0.048 (FP2)
17. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1:33.072 1.136 / 0.221 (FP2)
18. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:33.157 1.221 / 0.085 (FP1)
19. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:33.435 1.499 / 0.278 (FP2)
20. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:33.667 1.731 / 0.232 (FP2)
21. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:33.830 1.894 / 0.163 (FP2)
22. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 1:33.942 2.006 / 0.112 (FP2)
23. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:34.089 2.153 / 0.147 (FP2)
24. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 1:34.311 2.375 / 0.222 (FP2)

Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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