Unlucky Race For Team Suzuki Ecstar In Malaysia

Team Suzuki Press Office – October 29.

Andrea Iannone: P17 – +58.391
Alex Rins: DNF

After two positive races in Japan and Australia, rain arrived right before the Malaysian GP began and heavily affected a race that could have been another encouraging one for the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders. Andrea Iannone ended his Malaysian GP in 17th place, while Alex Rins was unable to finish the race.

The improvements made during the free practice and qualifying sessions paid were rewarded in the warm up, when both Iannone and Rins set an effective and solid pace; the former classified 5th with a time of 2’00.657, while the latter came in 12th with 2’00.827. The feeling was upbeat and the hopes for the race were reasonably high.

Just one hour before the start of the MotoGP, a heavy rainstorm arrived with a downpour on the Sepang International Circuit, causing engineers and mechanics to revise all the race strategies and change bikes’ settings. Iannone used his experience to his advantage at the start, holding his position during the early laps. Unfortunately, as the tyres became more and more worn his pace grew slower and slower. He was forced to concede position after position until the finish, ending in 17th place.

After a positive start, Rins fought with the leading pack for 6th place position, before sliding off the track at corner one during the 6th lap. This left him in the next to last place. He was able to rejoin the race, but in his attempt to catch up in the race, he took another slide. He then was going back to the pit to change his GSX-RR, but in this process he took a shortcut and did not complete the entire lap. That error generated the black flag penalty.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“I’m so disappointed because we had three races in a row, and the first two we did a good job. The first was in Motegi in wet conditions and then in Phillip Island, and now this time on a dry track. But in Sepang, despite the qualifying not being so bad, the race it was not as we expected. We had confidence in wet conditions as well, but the race was a disaster. We have to investigate the data of what happened with Andrea and why he couldn’t ride as he should and get a good result. Alex was having a good race at the beginning but unfortunately, he crashed and he was sorry for the mistake. We have to improve with him. Now we are facing the last race of the season, so because of that, it should be the best race with which to close the championship with a good result.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“It was a very difficult race. It’s a shame that it rained before the race because we were prepared for a dry race. With the rain Alex was quite fast, close to the first group. Unfortunately, he crashed twice and in trying to switch bike as quickly as possible, he got a black flag because he used the shortcut to the pit lane access. His race was over. Regarding Andrea, he couldn’t find the pace with the bike and we have to figure out what happened, why he wasn´t as fast as in Motegi. Let’s say it wasn’t a day to remember. Anyway, we look forward to closing the Championship in the best possible way.”

Andrea Iannone
“It’s hard to find the words to describe this race. In the wet everything got complicated and it was very hard to ride. It’s a shame because this morning in the warm-up we were very fast. We were confident and positive; we could have had the chance in race to fight for important positions. Until this morning we managed to improve the machine. So, despite the race we have done a good job. In race the bike was very hard to ride. I couldn’t even stand up; I felt no grip either at the front or at the rear. In these conditions it was very hard to compete.”

Alex Rins
“The weekend has been very good, progressing and getting a good qualifying position. I focused on making a good start and try to cling to the group in front. I gained two positions in the first lap and I was well positioned, but I did not feel good on the bike on the wet surface. I skated a lot and I lost rhythm. In corner one I lost control of the front and I fell. The important thing is that we continue to get experience. This weekend has been good because I have been able to learn from other riders, and to continue that good job in Valencia.”

GP of Malaysia – Race classification:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 44’51.497
2. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – +0.743
3. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – +9.738
4. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – +17.763
5. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – +29.144
6. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – +30.380
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – +30.769
8. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – +35.238
9. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – +38.053
10. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +39.847
11. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – +42.559
12. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +44.602
13. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – +48.696
14. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – +50.058
15. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – +50.705
16. Michael VAN DER MARK, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – +56.397
17. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +58.391
18. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – +1’25.571
Not Classified
Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 11 Laps
Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 12 Laps
Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 15 Laps
Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 0 Lap

2017 MotoGP World Standing after the GP of Malaysia:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Honda – 282
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati – 261
3. Maverick VIÑALES, Yamaha – 226
4. Valentino ROSSI, Yamaha – 197
5. Dani PEDROSA, Honda – 185
6. Johann ZARCO, Yamaha – 154
7. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati – 137
8. Danilo PETRUCCI, Ducati – 121
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW, Honda – 104
10. Jonas FOLGER, Yamaha – 84
11. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Ducati – 75
12. Jack MILLER, Honda – 73
13. Scott REDDING, Ducati – 64
14. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia – 62
15. Andrea IANNONE, Suzuki – 60
16. Pol ESPARGARO, KTM – 55
17. Alex RINS, Suzuki – 46
18. Loris BAZ, Ducati – 45
19. Karel ABRAHAM, Ducati – 30
20. Tito RABAT, Honda – 29
21. Hector BARBERA, Ducati – 27
22. Bradley SMITH, KTM – 24
23. Michele PIRRO, Ducati – 18
24. Mika KALLIO, KTM – 11
25. Sam LOWES, Aprilia – 5
26. Katsuyuki NAKASUGA, Yamaha – 4
27. Sylvain GUINTOLI, Suzuki – 1

Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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