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Rins Reaches Target, Iannone Misses Out


Team Suzuki Press Office – May 20.

Alex Rins: 10th (+27.937)
Andrea Iannone: DNF

• Alex Rins makes a good comeback after difficult recent run.
• Andrea Iannone caught out by a strange crash.
• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR look ahead to Mugello with hope.

An unexpected third sunny day in a row set the scene for a bitter-sweet Sunday for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, where a promising Andrea Iannone saw his race end prematurely in turn 6’s gravel trap on the first lap of the French GP. While Alex Rins, despite recent struggles, put in solid race which earned him the chequered flag and championship points.

In morning Warm-Up, the soft-soft tyre combination was used, and Andrea Iannone found promising pace as he completed the 15-minute session just +0.516 from the top of the timesheet.

When the lights went out for the 27 lap race the track temperatures were at their highest of the weekend, and both Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders opted for the medium-soft combination. Alex Rins made a good start from his 15th spot on the grid. The young Spaniard, who started this year’s race as a “rookie” having missed out with injury last year, slotted into 8th place on the opening lap. He maintained strong pace, and despite losing a few positions, he was ready to fight back. In the closing laps he lost out on 9th place and, following a small moment, he decided to maintain his rhythm to the flag, completing his target of a Top 10 finish.

Andrea Iannone also made a good start off the line, but unfortunately was caught out early on Lap 1 when he went down whilst running in 3rd place. The Italian was thankfully uninjured but it came as a big blow considering his recent run of excellent form, and the fact he entered the race 4th in the championship standings.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“Today has been a pity for Andrea, because he had podium pace, but his race ended early. In Jerez our performance wasn’t perfect but we still managed a podium, today we had a very good performance but no podium – this is racing. Alex managed to finish the race, and that was very important. We’ll try again in Mugello, where we have more confidence after the positive test we did last week.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Of course the early crash from Andrea was a big pity because today we started in a very good position and he had good pace – we could have had a very good race in the top group I think. Andrea has been consistently fast in the last races and also here for the whole weekend, so we look forward to Mugello, which is also a special track for him. Alex was struggling during the weekend, we also tried some final modifications in warmup before the race, and the result wasn’t so bad considering the difficulties we faced. It was important for him to finish the race, and he scored a few points. He has already ridden the MotoGP bike at Mugello, when we tested there last week, so we will turn the page and look towards this next race. We’ll continue to work.”

Alex Rins
“This weekend has been very difficult for me, trying to manage everything and go fast. In the race I tried to find the balance, and I think finishing in tenth was a good result. I was fighting with Aleix, Maverick and Cal during the last laps and we got a good finish. Now I just need to work hard from Fridays onwards, because all the tracks from now on I have already ridden with the MotoGP bike. Things are going in a good way, and at the Mugello test we tried some useful things, so we’ll go there with our heads up and try to complete a good weekend.”

Andrea Iannone
“I don’t really know what happened and it was a really strange crash. For sure I’m not happy about this race because we had really good potential today and really good pace, enough to be able to aim for the podium. But this is the reality. I started really well but then I lost the rear and it was strange, the team will check the data. I missed out on a potential podium and points, and both were really important. But we will come back strong from this situation. I hope Mugello will be a really good race for us, especially after a positive test there. It’s my home race so I’m really motivated.”

GP of France – Race Classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 41’49.773
2. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing +2.310
3. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +5.350
4. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing +6.314
5. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team +7.419
6. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team +10.355
7. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +23.758
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL +25.795
9. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +26.206
10. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +27.937
11.Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing+32.304
12. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +34.962
13. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +37.881
14. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +38.299
15. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +41.986
16. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS +45.260
17. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team +56.872
18. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing +1’12.117
Not Classified
45 Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
53 Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing
5 Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team
29 Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

MotoGP World Standings 2018:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 95
2. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 59
3. Johann ZARCO Yamaha 58
4. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 56
5. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 54
6. Jack MILLER Ducati 49
7. Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 47
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 46
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 46
10. Dani PEDROSA Honda 29
11. Tito RABAT Ducati 24
12. Alex RINS Suzuki 22
13. Pol ESPARGARO KTM 18
14. Jorge LORENZO Ducati 16
15. Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 16
16. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 13
17. Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 13
18. Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 12
19. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 10
20. Mika KALLIO KTM 6
21. Scott REDDING Aprilia 5
22. Bradley SMITH KTM 5
23. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 1
24. Thomas LUTHI Honda
25. Xavier SIMEON Ducati