Team Suzuki Press Office – October 21.
Andrea IANNONE: P4 – 1’28.937 +0.551
Alex RINS: P13 – 1’29.824 (Q1)
A stirring qualifying session ended with Andrea Iannone classified in 4th place for tomorrow’s grid at the Australian GP, while teammate Alex Rins narrowly missed going through to the Q2 and classified 13th.
In freezing winds and pouring rain, the morning session saw Iannone struggle to make effective improvements on his GSX-RR, setting his best lap at 1’41.886, only placing 22nd of the whole session. With improvements in the electronics configuration and warmer temperatures, the FP4 session was much more positive for him. With a solid pace, it was at times very similar to yesterday’s FP2. With the guarantee for direct access to Q2 gained from yesterday’s FP2, the Italian made use of the 15 minute session to put in place two effective runs that paid off with a time of 1’28.839, worthy of the 4th place in the grid, only 0.193s behind the first row.
Aiming for a place in the top ten for direct access to Q2, young Alex Rins approached the FP3 session with determination. However, the harsh conditions of the track with wet with pouring rain prevented him from improving on yesterday’s 1’30.085 that set him in 15th place. The whole Q1 session was a hard fought one for him, with two aggressive runs that saw him very close to the top two, being pushed back near the end of classification to 13th place.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“In the end this has been a satisfactory qualifying. Andrea classified in 4th place, which is a good starting spot, and it’s a shame for Alex because he missed the Q2 by very little. I believe they can both run a good race. Andrea is in a better position so I hope this will allow him to keep close to the leading group. Alex is farther behind and will be called upon to make up lost ground, but his pace today was consistent and fast so I think it’s possible. We are hoping for dry conditions that I believe would allow us to have a positive race.”
“We have been working positively in the last races, but we still suffer with many problems. I’m satisfied for today’s result, but at the same time I can’t say we’re getting the results I want. On one hand this disappoints me, but on the other I’m happy because only a few races ago I was very far behind. The progress we’ve made gives me a lot of confidence and this is important. For tomorrow I still have many doubts; I don’t really know what to expect. I know I can be fast in the first part of the race until the tyres get worn, then we will need to see how capable we are of managing the electronics for the tyre consumption and the spin. This will be the key. My pace is good, but we will have to see what happens after the 15th lap.”
“This is a track that I enjoy a lot. Today we had a good FP4 and Qualifying 1, but unfortunately we couldn’t get into the Q2. During FP4 we tried some things and it seems to work well. Tomorrow we have to make a good start and see about the weather – if it rains or not. In wet conditions, with enough water on track, I think we can do as well as in dry conditions. You can always improve and in my case I’m making steps forward and gaining a better understanding of the bike.”
GP of Australia – Qualifying classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’28.386
2. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’28.719 +0.333
3. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’28.744 +0.358
4. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’28.937 +0.551
5. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’28.964 +0.578 / 0.027
6. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’29.030 +0.644
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’29.203 +0.817
8. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’29.271 +0.885
9. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’29.321 +0.935
10. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’29.429 +1.043
11. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’29.496 +1.110
12. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’29.546 +1.160
13. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’29.824 (Q1)
14. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’29.847 (Q1)
15. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’29.961 (Q1)
16. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’30.085 (Q1)
17. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’30.224 (Q1)
18. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’30.471 (Q1)
19. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’30.543 (Q1)
20. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’30.806 (Q1)
21. Broc PARKES, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’30.889 (Q1)
22. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’30.900 (Q1)
23. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’31.158 (Q1)
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