Team Suzuki Press Office – February 15.
On February 13th, just a couple of days ahead of the first ever MotoGP test in Thailand, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins stopped over in Bangkok to meet the local fans, who are happy to see the World Championship return to Buriram.
Although it was just a couple of hours spent in the capital city, it was time enough to experience a first taste of the affection that the Thai people are ready to give. Thailand is indeed one of the most active countries in Asia in terms of Suzuki machines sold, and the affection for the brand was transposed also to the riders.
Iannone and Rins enjoyed an evening with the media and fans, answering some interesting questions and allowing the locals to feel more acquainted with these World Class riders. Of course there was also a chance to sign autographs and shake hands, as a sign of good luck for the upcoming tests.
One of the best moments of the evening was the delivery of two Special Edition GSX-R150 machines, that Suzuki Thailand had specifically modified to look like real racing machine. The little sports bike was launched last year in Thailand and is already a best seller, appreciated by young bikers as well as experienced riders, who don’t want any compromises in terms of style, and can enjoy the look of riding a real sport machine. The Special Edition had some custom made fairings, meant to replace the OEM headlight (as the bike has been designed for track usage only) to improve the aerodynamic efficiency. The special gift was really appreciated by Iannone and Rins, who will have their two machines delivered to Europe soon – because both of them believe the GSX-R150 to be a perfect training machine; a lot of fun but also nimble enough to be an efficient training aid.
After these enjoyable and special moments with the fans, the riders were lucky enough to experience more of Thailand’s beauty and warmth when they visited the incredible Wat Arun temple. Situated on the banks of Chao Phraya river this tranquil place of worship translates as the ‘Temple of Dawn’, and it was a fitting location to bring the riders to ahead of their debut at Buriram circuit.
Iannone and Rins then had the privilege of meeting the Thai Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-cha, who admitted his love of speed and motorcycle racing when he presented the riders with gifts to bring them good luck.
Speaking about their experiences, both confessed to feeling extremely welcome after an unforgettable few days in Thailand’s capital, and are now feeling ready for the test days ahead.
“This visit to Bangkok has been very interesting, as we could become acquainted with our fans in Thailand, who proved to be very enthusiastic. We had a warm welcome and it’s amazing to see how passionate they are. Here MotoGP has many many followers and for sure we are a point of reference for them, both as riders and as brand ambassadors. Suzuki is doing a great job in Thailand and the bikes look really cool. It was a surprise to get the GSX-R150 as a gift, the special fairing is awesome and the bike will be very fun to ride and good for training. The welcome of this amazing country was testified also by the Prime Minister, who gave us an intense meeting conveying all his enthusiasm.”
“It was great fun to ride the GSX-R150 in a shopping mall! Aside from the jokes, we were able to spend some hours with our fans in Bangkok and we enjoyed their warmth a lot. I’m really looking forward to trying this new circuit in the calendar and getting everything ready for the very first time we’ll be racing in Thailand in October. Visiting Bangkok has been very nice and we feel an extra boost of enthusiasm – which we gathered from the passion of the people we met. We hope that the fans in Buriram enjoy the test as much as I want to.”
Story issued by Team SUZUKI ECSTAR