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Brilliant Second Row for Iannone in Tough Spanish GP

Team Suzuki Press Office – May 6.

Andrea Iannone: 5th – 1’38.744/+0.495
Takuya Tsuda: 23rd – 1’40.386/+1.467 (Q1)

After a rough start to the weekend, today Andrea Iannone was in better form on the GSX-RR and clocked an impressive 1’38.744 in Q2 that gives him the 5th place in tomorrow’s grid. Test rider Takuya Tsuda made solid progress, and although he will start from the back of the grid, his qualifying time is remarkable.

In the morning Iannone had already improved from yesterday, although his feel for the bike was not at its best yet. He had to make it through Q1 in order to enter Q2, but in the end found a healthy and reassuring confidence with the bike. As a consequence he achieved 5th place in the classification. The result is not only important for the race but especially for his confidence.

Solid progress was also made by Takuya Tsuda, Suzuki’s test rider, currently riding in place of injured Alex Rins. His performances grew better and better with every session, and he is doing a great job giving important feedback to the engineers.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Today we can be happy for Andrea’s improvement from to yesterday. He feels a lot better on the bike. He got back his touch and now he feels confident to push himself. We were also able to improve the electronics, which yesterday gave us some trouble. I have to thank our group of engineers that made a good job. Thanks to this, finally today Andrea gained more confidence. Starting off from the second row is a powerful incentive and provides great motivation for a racer. Tomorrow during the warmup we will try to make some small fine tuning, and then I believe that Andrea has the chance to do well in the race and keep pace with the leading pack. Also with Tsuda, we made solid progress throughout the whole of the weekend. His qualifying time is not bad at all, and we’re happy for the progress he made so far in MotoGP. Tomorrow he will compete in his very first World Championship race and we´re just hoping he can enjoy it.”

Andrea Iannone
“I think we did a great in qualifying today. I’m very happy because yesterday we had a very difficult start and we managed to recover. The bike had a bad feel to it yesterday, but we did a great job and worked it out in the right way so we could have a better performance today. This is among the main strengths of Suzuki. Our group reacts very well. They never give up, and we always improve a lot. It is important for us to start from the second row. In previous races I always had a good pace in the race, but had to pay for the bad starting position, so the second row is a good chance to have a positive race. The top three riders are really strong, but we will try our best.”

Takuya Tsuda
“It was really my first time to have experienced a “time attack,” the competition for lap times, with soft tyres in MotoGP class, so I’d been trying to look for the limit, lap by lap. In the end, I understood that I could push more, but the time was not sufficient for me to give the better performance, unfortunately. I expected that the level of MotoGP would be high, but it was even higher when you join in with them there, and everything was very impressive. I’m not happy to start from the very last, but I would like to learn more in the race, and will try to overtake as many riders as possible, and use this experience to develop our bike after I return home.”

GP of España – Qualifying classification:
1. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’38.249
2. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’38.298/+0.049
3. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’38.453/+0.204
4. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’38.677/+0.428
5. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’38.744/+0.495
6. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’38.861/+0.612
7. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’38.908/+0.659
8. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’38.910/+0.661
9. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’39.108/+0.859
10. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’39.125/+0.876
11. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’39.152/+0.903
12. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’39.400/+1.151
13. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’39.090 (Q1)
14. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’39.255 (Q1)
15. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’39.282 (Q1)
16. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’39.321 (Q1)
17. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’39.462 (Q1)
18. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’39.564 (Q1)
19. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’39.678 (Q1)
20. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’39.824 (Q1)
21. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’39.906 (Q1)
22. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’40.213 (Q1)
23. Takuya TSUDA, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’40.386 (Q1)

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