Iannone Leads The Test In Sepang Day 2

A positive day at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia allowed Andrea Iannone to set the best chrono of the day, leading today’s classification by 0.406s with the best lap of 1’59.452 as the Italian rider exploited the closing minutes and track conditions to put in a positive series of laps, being in the top part of the screen in every run.

Team Suzuki Press Office – January 31.

 

A positive day at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia allowed Andrea Iannone to set the best chrono of the day, leading today’s classification by 0.406s with the best lap of 1’59.452 as the Italian rider exploited the closing minutes and track conditions to put in a positive series of laps, being in the top part of the screen in every run.

 

 

Big improvements were also made by rookie Alex Rins, who is getting more and more familiar with his GSX-RR, and was able to get into the 2’00 bracket and climb the classification to 13th place with a best chrono of 2’00.877. His work is focusing in learning the electronic management of the bike, but he also tried the new 2017 spec of the engine, as this is one of the priorities for the definition of future development.
 

 

As heavy rain hit the track yesterday evening, the teams had to delay the working schedule for today awaiting the track to dry and get better grip, finally being forced to squeeze all the working schedule into a few hours in the late afternoon. Finally, the engineers could get important information, crucial as this was the day for the introduction of the most important 2017 configurations on the machines, in particular in the set-up and engine. Some steps forward have also been made in the electronics.
 

 

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It’s been a nice day, hasn’t it? Despite having a delay at the start due to the track conditions, we got only few hours left to test, but we could make another important day. We have tested many things that proved to be effective, and Andrea did a very good job, an incredible time. Of course we still need to work a lot but I’m happy for this time; although it’s only one single lap we have stayed in the front for the whole session. Most importantly, this time is the proof that there is already a good feeling between Andrea and the machine, this means that when the moment to push will come he will be already able to do it. Now we have to work on many aspects to prepare consistency for the race, so we need to work on tyres, suspension, electronics, many things. But this a good sign. Alex as well made very positive progresses, he has already gone under 2’00 and he is improving more and more, he feels the machine more and more and at the end he enjoys riding more and more. Today we could test more in depth the new specs of the engine, making comparisons with the old one, and also tried a new front fork that Ohlins provided, and especially Andrea proved to appreciate it.”
 

 

Andrea Iannone:

“I’m very happy with today, although we had a short time due to the track conditions, we could do much work and, most importantly, made a step forward. In the early runs we started with some configurations that didn’t make me feel totally comfortable, then when we tried some changes I found much more confidence and the lap times got a huge benefit. They were not radical changes, more small improvements, but they proved to be very effective. We are working very well, I am finding an excellent feeling with my team, they are working very hard and very professionally and this gives me a positive attitude that allows me to ride with confidence. Today is a result of this, we improved a lot since yesterday and it is important for us to have found positive improvements.”
 

 

Alex Rins:

“Today we couldn’t ride so much in the morning because of the track conditions. We have waited for the track to dry up but overall I am very happy, we have improved a lot compared to yesterday and we understand how the bike works, suspensions and other things, we have taken a big step especially on braking. Little by little I have taken the confidence to brake hard in the corner and we have improved so much. I think we will improve step by step with the bike just doing more kilometres. Fortunately regarding the back I don’t feel pain!”
 

 

SEPANG TEST – CLASSIFICATION OF DAY 2: 1. IANNONE, Andrea – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1:59.452 2. VIÑALES, Maverick – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1:59.858 +0.406 3. BAUTISTA, Alvaro – Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 2:00.218 +0.766 4. ROSSI, Valentino – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 2:00.254 +0.802 5. ZARCO, Johann – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2:00.343 +0.891 6. BARBERA, Hector – Avintia Racing – 2:00.351 +0.899 7. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea – Ducati Team – 2:00.441 +0.989 8. LORENZO, Jorge – Ducati Team – 2:00.484 +1.032 9. FOLGER, Jonas – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 2:00.495 +1.043 10. MARQUEZ, Marc – Repsol Honda Team – 2:00.531 +1.079 11. ESPARGARO, Aleix – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:00.609 +1.157 12. CRUTCHLOW, Cal – LCR Honda – 2:00.692 +1.240 13. RINS, Alex – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 2:00.877 +1.425 14. PEDROSA, Dani – Repsol Honda Team – 2:00.886 +1.434 15. REDDING, Scott – Octo Pramac Racing – 2:00.972 +1.520 16. ABRAHAM, Karel – Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 2:00.981 +1.529 17. PETRUCCI, Danilo – Octo Pramac Racing – 2:01.124 +1.672 18. BAZ, Loris – Avintia Racing – 2:01.227 +1.775 19. PIRRO, Michele – Ducati Test Team – 2:01.383 +1.931 20. ESPARGARO, Pol – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2:01.525 +2.073 21. MILLER, Jack – Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:01.557 +2.105 22. LOWES, Sam – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 2:02.058 +2.606 23. RABAT, Tito – Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 2:02.190 +2.738 24. TSUDA, Takuya – Suzuki Test Team – 2:02.266 +2.814 25. SMITH, Bradley – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 2:02.517 +3.065 26. NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki – Yamaha Factory Racing – 2:02.893 +3.441 27. NOZANE, Kohta – Yamaha Factory Racing – 2:03.052 +3.600

Track-Daze Announces Sponsorship From Kawasaki

Since 2005, Track-Daze has been a pioneer in the amateur track-day business and it is that constant quest for perfection that has led to a sponsorship deal and partnership with Kawasaki SA. Not only that, but the deal includes Pirelli tyres, Arai helmets and SBS brake pads. Fourways Motorcycles, the northern Johannesburg Kawasaki dealer, will […]

Since 2005, Track-Daze has been a pioneer in the amateur track-day business and it is that constant quest for perfection that has led to a sponsorship deal and partnership with Kawasaki SA. Not only that, but the deal includes Pirelli tyres, Arai helmets and SBS brake pads. Fourways Motorcycles, the northern Johannesburg Kawasaki dealer, will give technical support.

Dave Esterhuizen and Arno Bareiss, founders of the company in 2005, set out with a very clear idea of what they wanted their track days to be like and worked hard to achieve it. Factors such as sticking to a strict timetable so no-one lost out on track time, classroom sessions and free on-track instruction to anyone who asked for it, set them apart from their rivals.

While that first outing at Phakisa in the Free State might not have been a financial success, in every other respect it was phenomenal; soon word-of-mouth brought the crowds and the company has gone from strength to strength ever since.

This growth has been helped by the philosophy of constant innovation that Arno and Dave have adopted. This led them, in 2006, to allow only one- or two-piece leathers on track, thus elevating the safety standards to international level. To this day Track Daze remains the only track-day operator to adhere to this rule.

Track-Daze were one of the first companies to specify individual transponders for each rider; not, as it has been suggested, to solely allow riders to record their fastest lap times, but to better manage the different classes of rider and ensure like rides with like by paying strict attention to lap cut-off times. Just another small but significant safety and enjoyment factor.

Into 2017 and beyond, the minimum three year partnership with Kawasaki SA, Pirelli, Arai and SBS will further strengthen Track-Daze’s reputation as the pre-eminent track school available in South Africa.

Team Suzuki Ecstar 2017 Launch

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR has today presented its new MotoGPTM project at the Sepang International Circuit as a foreword to the kick-off for the season, which officially starts tomorrow with the first IRTA test of the year here in Malaysia.

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Team Suzuki Press Office – January 29.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR has today presented its new MotoGPTM project at the Sepang International Circuit as a foreword to the kick-off for the season, which officially starts tomorrow with the first IRTA test of the year here in Malaysia.

 

The Japanese team, led by Davide Brivio as Team Manager, Satoru Terada as Project Leader and Ken Kawauchi as Technical Manager, will begin the third season in the top category of motorcycling. After two seasons of creation, hard work and development, 2017 will be a crucial exercise in which Team SUZUKI ECSTAR seeks to become one of the best teams in the World Championship.

 

Pursuing that goal this year, it has renewed its line-up of riders with the acquisition of the Italian Andrea Iannone and young Spaniard Alex Rins, coming from the Moto2 category. The GSX-RR 1000 will be contending among the top machines of the world again with a good basis and many improvements Suzuki wants to enhance the performance.

 

Iannone, born in Vasto (Italy) 28 years ago, debuted in the premier class in 2013 with the Ducati Pramac and from the beginning he showed his credentials with an extreme, aggressive and exuberant ride that served him well, respect of his rivals and this permitted him to be amongst the fastest riders in the world. Four years later, and after winning his first race in the category last year in Austria, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR wants to be the launch pad for Andrea to aim for new targets and to be able to regularly fight with the top riders for podium positions.

 

On the other side of the box will be Rins, a 21-year-old Barcelona teenager who begins his adventure among the world’s best motorcycle riders. With a natural talent for riding, and several times as a runner-up in the lower-class categories, Rins looks to 2017 as a year of learning in the premier class to get the experience to fight for higher goals in the coming years.

 

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, based in Hamamatsu city, is one of the most popular teams in the MotoGP category. The racing history of the Japanese factory is a tale of success from the 70’s when legendary British rider Barry Sheene achieved his first 500cc crown in 1976. Then the legacy was taken by other famous names such as Marco Lucchinelli, Franco Uncini, Kevin Schwantz and Kenny Roberts Jr. who added a total of six 500cc titles. The very latest success happened last year when the team scored victory at Silverstone in the UK.

 

 

ANDREA IANNONE #29:

“I’m really happy to start this new adventure! Suzuki for me has always been an icon of motorcycle racing and I hope to gain the affection of fans and enthusiasts as the great riders who have been part of the history of this great team! The coming season is a big challenge, but at the same a huge motivation for me after some years riding for the same brand. This change of direction in my career is so stimulating and I’m eager to return Suzuki with all the interest and affection they have demonstrated to me. I look forward to kicking-off the new season with the new blue colors and do my best to try to achieve the best results possible for the team!”

 

 


ALEX RINS #42:

“The main objective of any rider in the world is to reach the MotoGP category because it is the maximum expression of motorcycling. Then doing it with the hand of Suzuki is the best way I could ever have imagined. The team is amazing at the very first sight and the treatment they have given me since the first minute is fantastic. The bike is awesome as well so I am very pleased, very motivated and very grateful to Suzuki for the trust placed in me. It’s going to be a fantastic year in which we will learn a lot and that’s our main goal from the beginning. The Valencia accident was a setback in our plans, but we are working very hard to counteract it. I’m looking forward to getting back on my Suzuki GSX-RR and meeting my new ‘family’ in the box”

 

 


SATORU TERADA:

“This season is going our third season after coming back to MotoGP and we have so many expectations for that. We worked really hard to improve and develop the bike during last two years and we could see the results coming out throughout 2016, so we feel happy checking out the direction we took was the correct one. Now we are pretty focused on 2017 and with the same hunger. We think we’ve got a really good GSX-RR base for the coming season and we have to still improve in some areas like electronics, but overall we are satisfied. We are keen to see how our performance is at this very first test of 2017 in Sepang and compare with our rivals where we are. Furthermore, I would like to welcome our new riders Andrea and Alex to the team. Hopefully together we will do a nice job!”

 

DAVIDE BRIVIO:

“The 2017 season will be important for us because it is already the third consecutive season since returning to MotoGP. We are no longer rookies so we must try to get closer to the other rivals. In addition, we have as a great incentive two new riders. I think Andrea Iannone is mature and is ready to achieve great goals if we are able to give him a good package with the bike. And in the other side of the garage Alex Rins, with whom we started a new adventure, a young driver with great talent and we will try to guide him to the top of MotoGP. This is why we are looking at an interesting season, but we know it will be difficult because all the teams have been very strong. It looks like 2017 will be a crucial year for everyone for different reasons, so we will face a very strong group of opponents. But we want to be with them, we want to try to be in the fight and get closer to the top, so we must try with Andrea at the first moment and, once he gains experience, I think Alex will be in a position to do so.”

 

 


ANDREA IANNONE PROFILE

Team: Suzuki Ecstar
Bike: Suzuki GSX-RR 1000cc
Nationality: Italian
Birth place: Vasto (Italy)
09/Aug/1989
Weight: 67 kg
Height: 178 cm
1st Grand Prix:: MotoGP (QAT 2013)/ Moto2 (QAT 2010)/ 125cc (SPA 2005)
1st Pole Position:: MotoGP (ITA 2005)/ Moto2 (ITA 2010)/ 125cc (MAL 2008)
1st Race Fastest Lap:: MotoGP (USA 2015)/ Moto2 (ITA 2010)/ 125cc (JPN 2009)
1st Podium:: MotoGP (QAT 2015)/ Moto2 (ITA 2010)/ 125cc (CHN 2008)
1st GP Victory:: MotoGP (AUT 2016)/ Moto2 (ITA (2010)/ 125cc (CHN 2008)
GP Victories:: MotoGP (1)/ Moto2 (6)/ 125cc (0) = 13
GP 2nd Positions:: MotoGP (1)/ Moto2 (6)/ 125cc (0) = 7
GP 3rd Positions:: MotoGP ( 5)/ Moto2 (5)/ 125cc (1) = 11
GP Podiums:: MotoGP (7)/ Moto2 (19)/ 125cc (5) = 31
GP Pole Positions:: MotoGP (2)/ Moto2 (5)/ 125cc (3) = 10
Race Fastest Laps:: MotoGP (3)/ Moto2 (13)/ 125cc (1) = 17
World Championship Wins: MotoGP (0)/ Moto2 (0)/ 125cc (0)

Sofuoglu Focuses On Opening Round As He Recovers From Training Injury

Five-time FIM Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is rapidly recovering from a right wrist injury suffered at his training track in Turkey a few days ago. Sofuoglu, the most successful WorldSSP rider of all time, crashed while riding his personal Supermoto machine as part of his final off-season preparations, shortly before a […]

Five-time FIM Supersport World Champion Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) is rapidly recovering from a right wrist injury suffered at his training track in Turkey a few days ago.

Sofuoglu, the most successful WorldSSP rider of all time, crashed while riding his personal Supermoto machine as part of his final off-season preparations, shortly before a winter test session at Jerez and forthcoming Portimao track outing in Portugal.

Kenan has had to miss the Iberian tests but his new team-mate Kyle Ryde took over as a lone Ninja ZX-6R rider in the official team at Jerez recently. He will also continue in that role at the forthcoming tests in Portimao.

After more medical checks on his injury Kenan fully expects to be able to ride at the final official tests at Phillip Island between 20th and 21st February, shortly before the first round of the year on Sunday 26th February.

Sofuoglu has not had an operation to repair his injury and is not expected to have one before heading to Australia for the first round of a busy season.

Manuel Puccetti, Manager Kawasaki Puccetti Racing, stated: “Kenan and I have spoken a lot with the Clinica Mobile recently and they confirm that he has a broken wrist – close to the scaphoid but it is not the scaphoid – and a dislocation, but they said that after 20-25 days should be enough for him to come back to the official tests at Phillip Island. He will not be 100% but enough to be able to ride the bike. We will know soon if he will be ready but they say he has enough time to come back. But, the bone is broken so we will know when he jumps on the bike, honestly.”

Strong Restart For KRT After Two Days On Track At Jerez

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes made a positive start to their 2017 championship preparations on the new Ninja ZX-10RR during a two-day test at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, with Rea going fastest of all and Sykes placing third Two-time champion Rea set a lap of 1’39.809 on the final […]

Kawasaki Racing Team riders Jonathan Rea and Tom Sykes made a positive start to their 2017 championship preparations on the new Ninja ZX-10RR during a two-day test at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain, with Rea going fastest of all and Sykes placing third

Two-time champion Rea set a lap of 1’39.809 on the final afternoon, after also posting the fastest lap on the opening day. His eventual leading time was achieved with a standard race tyre fitted front and rear, as he wanted to concentrate on a race set-up only at this stage.

2013 world champion Sykes finished his two-day test with a 1’40.219 best lap for third best lap time of the entire test sessions. He also used a race tyre combination to set his quickest time.

Both Rea and Sykes experienced crashes on day two but came back with determination to complete their programme of work and improve their individual performance.

This test was used partly to underline which material and components they will use to take on the challenge of the first two rounds of the season in Australia and Thailand, and to evaluate some development parts, especially in terms of suspension.

The dry weather conditions that favoured both days of track action at Jerez allowed the KRT duo to make consistent progress in many areas, with one more Jerez test session in Europe to complete before the last pre-race outing – the official organisers’ tests at Phillip Island – between 20th and 21st February.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “It is nice to set such a good lap time at this time of the year but it is testing and I have never been the best guy for one lap. We have been able to make many fast laps in these winter tests, however, and we have found a bike set-up that has been working well. The grip level at this test was a little bit lower than in November but we have been able to find consistency as well. With the different character on the track we have been able to evaluate different rear shocks. Showa have been working so hard and I am really impressed. I felt my own ‘bike fitness’ was not great as I have been off the race bike for so many weeks now. I am looking forward to the next test to try and do a lot of laps. I need some more mileage to feel like I did during the season last year.”

Tom Sykes, stated: “I am happy enough even though I suffered with my neck all day today after a crash, while I was riding the bike at least. That took the edge off me a bit but we still did a lot of things with the bike and tried a lot of different set-ups. Jerez is not my strongest circuit anyway but thanks to Marcel, Danilo and all the boys we finished the day very happy. I feel all the information we have from today means we will be strong. We were able to make real progress. We are still struggling in some areas but we will keep working and I feel we are putting in enough laps and mileage during testing to build ourselves a stronger package for Phillip Island and round one.”

Pere Riba, Crew Chief for Jonathan Rea, stated: “Jonathan’s best time was done with standard race tyres. This afternoon we made a small change with the balance of the bike, to make things more sharp and to concentrate on finding a lap time. We also found some good things with the electronics so Jonathan felt good with the bike. We decided not to put in a qualifying rear tyre as there was no point. We know if he had put in a qualifier he would be faster. I was happy on the first day that the track did not have fantastic grip yet because it is better to work in those conditions to understand the bike. When you have good grip almost everything you test feels good. We have to understand the best way possible with low grip and high grip so this test was very positive.”

Marcel Duinker, Crew Chief for Tom Sykes, stated: “We continued our test schedule from where we finished last November at Jerez. It was not the perfect test back then but we continued well here; we made a good step forward. We know the regulation change from 2016 to 2017 means we have to adapt the bike set-up as well as we can. Then it is up to the rider, but we made some fundamental tests regarding new parts and today we put all the good things together. At the end of the day Tom was fairly happy with his speed and consistency. We made a good step and we will continue next week in testing. I am sure after the second day of those tests we will be ready to move to Phillip Island for the first race.”

2017 KRT Rider Statistics
Jonathan Rea: World Champion 2015 and 2016
2017: Races 0, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 38 (23 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 88 (46 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 8 (4 For Kawasaki)

Tom Sykes: World Champion 2013
2017: Races: 0, Wins 0, Podiums 0, Superpoles 0
Career Race Wins: 31 (31 for Kawasaki)
Career Podiums: 84 (83 For Kawasaki)
Career Poles: 38 (38 For Kawasaki)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
4 x Riders’ Championships (Scott Russell 1993, Sykes 2013, Rea 2015 & 2016), 1 x EVO Riders’ Championship (David Salom 2014)
2 x Manufacturers’ Championships (Ninja ZX-10R 2015 & 2016)
2 x Teams’ Championships (KRT/Provec Racing 2015 & 2016)

Kawasaki FIM Superbike World Championship Statistics
Total Kawasaki Race Wins: 91 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Podiums: 307 – third overall
Total Kawasaki Poles: 63 – second overall