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Andrea Iannone Tops the Timesheets in Texas

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 21.

Andrea Iannone: 1st – 2:04.599
Alex Rins: 6th – 2:05.452 (+ 0.853)

• Fastest time for Iannone in FP2 gives him combined lead.
• Alex Rins shows strong pace in both sessions.
• COTA conditions challenging.

The opening session of track action at the Circuit of the Americas was difficult in the MotoGP class as the asphalt was incredibly dusty and dirty. That, coupled with several bumps around the twisty track meant a period of adaptation was necessary in FP1, but both riders showed strong pace from the very beginning. In FP2 Iannone and Rins confirmed their provisional places in Q2, which may be crucial as rain is forecast for Saturday.

Andrea Iannone slotted into the Top 3 early in FP1 and spent most of the morning session within the Top 10. He ended this session 8th (2:07.093), and hinted at more to come; proving to be the fastest rider through sector 4. In FP2 the track became warmer and cleaner, allowing all the riders to up their pace. Andrea spent the majority of the session in 2nd place, but slipped to 10th as other riders switched to soft tyres and began to set fast laps. With a few moments of the session left, the Italian set an incredible lap of 2:04.599 and took 1st place, despite using a medium-soft combination. He was also fastest in both sectors 2 and 4.

Alex Rins completed FP1 in 10th place (2:07.211) and looked comfortable and confident throughout the morning session. In FP2 he started the session well and was able to improve several times, keeping himself in Q2 contention. Just before the chequered flag came out, the Spaniard put in a 2:05.452 which elevated him to 6th place, +0.853 behind his teammate.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Of course it’s nice to be in first position, even if it’s only Friday. I take positives from it because Andrea had good pace throughout the whole session and he was fast for several laps. And this is despite the fact that we’re still working on bike setup with him, and trying different things, so this has been very good. I’m also glad that Alex managed to improve the bike at the end of the session and stay in the Top 10; this could be important tomorrow if it rains. So we’ll continue to work with both riders, to improve and be ready for Sunday.”

Andrea Iannone
“I have a good feeling at this circuit, and a good feeling with the bike. The conditions are difficult because the track is dirty, but it’s the same for everybody. I’m really happy because we worked in a good way today, and the most important thing is to continue like this tomorrow and remain focused. For sure the target for us is to stay at the top during qualifying, because overtaking is difficult so it’s better to start at the front for the race. It’s hard to recover from the back, and harder to show our potential. We hope to improve tomorrow, and I believe that anything is possible because I feel positive and ready to fight for the top.”

Alex Rins
“I’m quite happy because we did a good job from FP1 onwards, and where we lacked a little bit we were able to adjust the bike well for FP2 and it was better. With the race tyre I feel strong and I have good pace, we still need to work a bit on setup but we’re going in a good direction. Usually our rhythm in wet conditions is good and I like it a lot, so we will see what happens tomorrow.”

GP of the Americas – Combined Classification after Day 1:

1. Andrea IANNONE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’04.599
2. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 2’04.655 0.056 / 0.056
3. Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’04.863 0.264 / 0.208
4. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 2’04.958 0.359 / 0.095
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 2’05.088 0.489 / 0.130
6. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 2’05.452 0.853 / 0.364
7. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team 2’05.487 0.888 / 0.035
8. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 2’05.647 1.048 / 0.160
9. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’05.739 1.140 / 0.092
10. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team 2’05.761 1.162 / 0.022
11. Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing 2’05.889 1.290 / 0.128
12. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 2’05.910 1.311 / 0.021
13. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’05.933 1.334 / 0.023
14. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 2’06.016 1.417 / 0.083
15. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’06.078 1.479 / 0.062
16. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 2’06.219 1.620 / 0.141
17. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 2’06.397 1.798 / 0.178
18. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team 2’06.555 1.956 / 0.158
19. Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’06.625 2.026 / 0.070
20. Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS 2’06.640 2.041 / 0.015
21. Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team 2’06.683 2.084 / 0.043
22. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’07.033 2.434 / 0.350
23. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’07.136 2.537 / 0.103
24. Xavier SIMEON Reale Avintia Racing 2’08.021 3.422 / 0.885

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