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.”
“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.”
“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