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Learning Fast on Opening Day at Chang International

Team Suzuki Press Office – February 16th.

Alex Rins: 2nd – 1:30.809 (+ 0.012)
Andrea Iannone: 9th – 1:31.235 (+0.438)

• Alex Rins sets 2nd fastest time as he quickly gets to grips with new circuit.

• Andrea Iannone with a strong pace and large number of laps.

The opening day of testing at Chang International Circuit was expected by all riders and teams to be a learning curve. But the ability of Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone to adapt quickly to this brand new track resulted in a successful Day 1 for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

The high temperatures of around 35 degrees celsius meant long runs would be challenging and physical, and both riders decided to use the morning session to put together a string of consecutive laps. This intense work was valuable for the collection of data as well as for the riders to get the feel of the track and how best to ride it.

Development of the 2018 GSX-RR was initially not the first priority, as set-up for the new track took precedence, but useful progress was still found and the team were able to continue with the good work they made during the Sepang test last month.

Alex Rins put in 70 laps and reported a comfortable and enjoyable feeling from the bike and the track. After progressing throughout the session he completed the day in 2nd place, just +0.012 seconds from the top of the time sheet.

Andrea Iannone completed an impressive 78 laps, one of the highest numbers recorded by any rider on Day 1. The Italian gleaned useful information and had a strong and consistent pace, finishing the day in 9th place, +0.438 seconds from the fastest time.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Today has been a positive day for us because we were able to do a good job. First of all to try to understand the new track and the set-up, gearing, and other settings. We progressed step-by-step and we could compare different options. So we’re happy with the information we collected today. Of course, to see Alex so close to the top and Andrea, even with the old tyre, keeping a good pace is nice. But it’s important to focus on testing everything properly and creating our best package. We are continuing the job we’ve started in Sepang, we have different options for the chassis and also for the engine, which must be evaluated and finally decided. Also we will be able to try a new fairing, hopefully tomorrow, which could give us some more information on how to proceed with the development.”

Alex Rins
“This is a new track for everybody, but from the beginning I understood it well and I enjoyed this Chang Circuit. We didn’t try many things today, we’re just keeping focused on the set-up of the bike. We have had a good first day, tomorrow we will try some new things, and I hope to continue in a good way. The key here is consistency and a good rhythm, and this layout suits the Suzuki.”

Andrea Iannone
“I’m pretty satisfied for today. We have some different settings available and we are working to understand which one makes me more comfortable. The most positive thing at the moment is that I can be consistent, especially with a used tyre. In fact, I did my best lap with a worn tyre. I liked the track, it’s short but it doesn’t have a lot of hard braking, which is a configuration that works well for our GSX-RR. On tracks like this where I can let the bike roll and exploit the corner speed we can express our potential. Today I also worked hard to give feedback to the engineers, which is another important part of testing.”

THAILAND TEST – Classification after Day 1:

1. CRUTCHLOW, Cal LCR Honda CASTROL 1:30.797 57/ 70
2. RINS, Alex Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:30.809 0.012 0.012 66 / 70
3. MARQUEZ, Marc Repsol Honda Team 1:30.912 0.115 0.103 30 / 78
4. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea Ducati Team 1:30.945 0.148 0.033 30 / 60
5. PEDROSA, Dani Repsol Honda Team 1:30.960 0.163 0.015 70 / 75
6. PETRUCCI, Danilo Alma Pramac Racing 1:31.003 0.206 0.043 70 / 74
7. MILLER, Jack Alma Pramac Racing 1:31.044 0.247 0.041 78 / 83
8. ROSSI, Valentino Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:31.189 0.392 0.145 68 / 74
9. IANNONE, Andrea Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1:31.235 0.438 0.046 70 / 78
10. LORENZO, Jorge Ducati Team 1:31.246 0.449 0.011 60 / 64
11. VIÑALES, Maverick Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 1:31.294 0.497 0.048 67 / 70
12. ZARCO, Johann Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:31.305 0.508 0.011 35 / 67
13. RABAT, Tito Reale Avintia Racing 1:31.523 0.726 0.218 70 / 85
14. BAUTISTA, Alvaro Ángel Nieto Team 1:31.525 0.728 0.002 76 / 84
15. ESPARGARO, Aleix Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:31.662 0.865 0.137 57 / 62
16. REDDING, Scott Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1:31.685 0.888 0.023 55 / 59
17. NAKAGAMI, Takaaki LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1:31.692 0.895 0.007 55 / 87
18. ABRAHAM, Karel Ángel Nieto Team 1:31.698 0.901 0.006 75 / 82
19. MORBIDELLI, Franco EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:31.729 0.932 0.031 67 / 72
20. SMITH, Bradley Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:31.741 0.944 0.012 58 / 67
21. LUTHI, Thomas EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1:32.716 1.919 0.975 73 / 79
22. SIMEON, Xavier Reale Avintia Racing 1:32.720 1.923 0.004 47 / 50
23. KALLIO, Mika Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1:32.749 1.952 0.029 21 / 48
24. SYAHRIN, Hafizh Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1:33.165 2.368 0.416 63 / 70

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