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Rins 6th in Australia Test as Iannone Focuses on Pace

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 17.

Alex Rins – 6th (combined times)
Andrea Iannone – 13th (combined times)

The second pre-season testing session ended today in Phillip Island with the positive result of Alex Rins well into the top-10, with a best lap of 1:29.103s that positions him in sixth place for the day; the same as the three-day combined classification. More race-oriented work prevented Andrea Iannone from going for a proper time-attack, resulting in his 13th place in the classification.

The growth by Rins and his crew finally created positive results with the young Spaniard making progress with his riding style. This allowed him to consistently place in the highest part of the timesheets. Steps forward were also taken in regards to his capability to understand the machine as well as to report feedback and directions to engineers who were able to try several options to determine the correct development path for him. Even though he also incurred a slide, he managed to get back on the bike immediately and regain his pace, which is an important and positive sign.

Important progress has also been made by Iannone, who had been requested to do more in order to give important feedback to the development team. He struggled to find the needed confidence for a proper time attack, but he managed to make a long test run that gave the engineers important data. He will take advantage of the next test in Qatar to check the improvements that will be made and also find a more effective performance on the single lap.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“This test was different from Sepang. In Malaysia we could find a good lap time, while we left many things to be tested. Here, we struggled more with the lap times but the work has been very intense and we could test many possible solutions. From my point of view, this is very important because we can bring back a great deal of information to Japan to develop some improvements for the Qatar test and eventually, the race. For this reason, this test has been positive. We tried new cowlings and they proved to have positives and negatives that will have to be analysed. We also tried different swing arms and set-ups, finding important indicators. Andrea struggled here a little more to have a good feeling about it, but soon we will be able to deliver him better settings. I trust he is a very fast rider, so I don’t have many concerns for his position in the timesheets. Alex did quite a good job; very consistent in the lap-time and often into the top-10 which means he is progressing well and gives us good hopes for further improvements.”

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“We had a positive last day of testing with both riders, although from different perspectives. Alex managed to score a fast lap time, which is something positive, but equally important is that he consistently improved his performance throughout the entire three days and we’re satisfied by his progress. Another positive sign is that although he incurred a slide very late this afternoon, he managed to recuperate his confidence immediately and lap-speed soon after. That indicates he is getting more-and-more mature. Lastly, Andrea struggled today, but we have called on him to further our development work; he managed to make a long run whose data will be very helpful to our engineers. Now that we have concluded this second test, we move to what is probably the most important of the pre-season series, the one in Qatar. It will be the very last one before the season kicks off. We have to look ahead and get ready for the first race.”

Alex Rins:

“The truth is that I’m very satisfied with these three days of testing. Apart from the best lap, the most important thing is that our progress during the sessions has been consistent and significant, cutting more than 2.3 seconds since Day One. We are able to better understand the machine and also develop a finer sensitivity with the settings and the changes. With my team, we are working very intensively, and this pays us back in the end. We still have many areas to improve, both in the GSX-RR and in my riding, but our ideas are getting clearer after each session. I also had a little crash today, but this didn’t affect my performance. I’m satisfied with these days and confident that we will be able to further improve.”

Andrea Iannone:

“We understand more-and-more the direction we need to take for the future. I managed a very constructive long run where we could put together all the information collected in these three days and I must say the result was not bad at all. Obviously, I couldn´t take advantage of the new tyres for a proper time attack. I ruined the front tyres as I used them so much for the long run attempts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Therefore, my position in the classification is not the one I’d like, but looking overall, we did a good job. We are working on the electronics but not just there. We have many areas where we can make big or small improvements, and we are trying to fix everything. These kinds of tests require time and patience. It is like being a test rider more than a race rider. It is hard to be in the position of tapping the bike´s full potential, but I’m confident that in Qatar we will reap the benefits of this hard work.”

AUSTRALIAN TEST – Combined classification after Day3:

1. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:28.549 – Session 3
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1:28.843 +0.294 – Session 3
3. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1:29.033 +0.484 – Session 3
4. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:29.042 +0.493 – Session 3
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1:29.101 +0.552 – Session 3
6. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:29.103 +0.554 – Session 3
7. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1:29.248 +0.699 – Session 3
8. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1:29.342 +0.793 – Session 3
9. Jack MILLER Marc, VDS Racing Team – 1:29.358 +0.809 – Session 3
10. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1:29.361 +0.812 – Session 3
11. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:29.411 +0.862 – Session 2
12. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:29.470 +0.921 – Session 3
13. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:29.547 +0.998 – Session 3
14. Danilo PETRUCCI, Octo Pramac Racing – 1:29.615 +1.066 – Session 3
15. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1:29.670 +1.121 – Session 3
16. Hector BARBERA, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 1:29.791 +1.242 – Session 3
17. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:29.857 +1.308 – Session 3
18. Loris BAZ, Reale Esponsorama Racing – 1:29.977 +1.428 – Session 3
19. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:29.978 +1.429 – Session 3
20. Scott REDDING, Octo Pramac Racing – 1:30.005 +1.456 – Session 3
21. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1:30.142 +1.593 – Session 2
22. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1:30.200 +1.651 – Session 3

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