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Alex Rins Rises to the Top of Day 1 in Sepang

Team Suzuki Press Office – November 2.

Alex Rins: 1st – 1:59.608
Andrea Iannone: 9th – 2:00.502 (+ 0.894)

• Alex Rins makes rapid improvements to place 1st.
• Andrea Iannone not far away in 9th.
• Team feeling optimistic ahead of Day 2.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR took to the Sepang International Circuit with positive energy following a successful weekend in Australia. The morning’s FP1 session at the Malaysian track stayed dry, allowing Rins and Iannone to work on set-up and try different configurations of their aerodynamic package. The pair had a good session and finished 6th and 11th respectively.

In the afternoon’s FP2 session the emphasis was on improving the lap times incase of rain on Saturday morning. Alex Rins got faster and faster throughout the afternoon, setting the quickest lap a few minutes before the end of the session and holding onto 1st place overall. The Spaniard also topped track sectors 1 & 2. Meanwhile Andrea Iannone was able to move himself into the crucial Top 10 with 9th place. Both riders are now provisionally placed in Q2 should FP3 be wet tomorrow morning.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“It’s been another good start. We were happy to see that Alex was able to be fast in both sessions, he had good pace and we were able to try some different things. In the end he set the fastest time, so we hope we can continue to prepare for the race in a good way. Andrea was struggling a bit more today and he has a few problems, so we’ll see how to fix them and hope to improve. Having both riders in Q2 is really important for tomorrow, so we’ll try to continue like this.”

Alex Rins
“I’m really happy because the bike was really good today. Our rhythm was strong, even with a used tyre, so we’re feeling hopeful. The bike has actually changed quite a lot since we tested here; it has better top speed and we have a different configuration of aero fairing, so we can clearly see the positive development which has taken place during the season. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Andrea Iannone
“The weather here always makes things more difficult, and it’s very hot today like every year. We struggled a bit in the morning but in FP2 I could improve, we need to continue to work because I still have room for improvement in braking and acceleration. We’ll try our best and find the solutions so I can be quicker tomorrow. But I’m in the Top 10 and Q2 at the moment and that is a good sign.”

Circuit: Sepang International Circuit
Air Temperature: 32c
Track Temperature: 37c
Humidity: 66%

GP of Malaysia – Combined Classification after Day 1:
1. A. RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’59.608 (FP2)

2. A.DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’59.697 0.089 / 0.089 (FP1)
3. M.MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’59.701 0.093 / 0.004 (FP2)
4. V. ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’59.767 0.159 / 0.066 (FP1)
5. J. MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 1’59.771 0.163 / 0.004 (FP2)
6. M. VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1’59.802 0.194 / 0.031 (FP2)
7. D.PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 1’59.811 0.203 / 0.009 (FP2)
8. J.ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’00.159 0.551 / 0.348 (FP2)
9. A.IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’00.502 0.894 / 0.343 (FP2)
10. A.ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’00.552 0.944 / 0.050 (FP1)
11. D.PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 2’00.579 0.971 / 0.027 (FP2)
12. A.BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 2’00.664 1.056 / 0.085 (FP1)
13. T.NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 2’00.829 1.221 / 0.165 (FP2)
14. F.MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’00.981 1.373 / 0.152 (FP2)
15. P.ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’01.020 1.412 / 0.039 (FP2)
16. B.SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’01.230 1.622 / 0.210 (FP1)
17. S.BRADL LCR Honda CASTROL 2’01.313 1.705 / 0.083 (FP1)
18. H.SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’01.419 1.811 / 0.106 (FP1)
19. K.ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 2’01.684 2.076 / 0.265 (FP2)
20. S.REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’01.690 2.082 / 0.006 (FP1)
21. T.LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’01.743 2.135 / 0.053 (FP2)
22. X.SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 2’01.900 2.292 / 0.157 (FP2)
23. J.TORRES Reale Avintia Racing 2’01.940 2.332 / 0.040 (FP2)
24. J.LORENZO Ducati Team 2’03.204 3.596 / 1.264 (FP1)