The first day back at the track after the summer break saw Team SUZUKI ECSTAR riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins busy testing many items delivered to Brno by the Suzuki Factory. This led the Friday program to be more centered on development than on the single lap time. Rins finished in 18th place and Iannone in 20th.
The morning session was affected by heavy rain, that left the track completely wet, only allowing the riders a tentative first taste of the circuit. Despite a good start, Iannone was unable to properly reduce his lap time and ended the first session in 16th place, with a best lap of 2’06.507. Rins, for his part, struggled to find confidence on the GSX-RR in this circuit and ended in 23rd place with 2’07.801.
In the afternoon, the track got dry and riders were able to exit with a dry set up and slick tyres, trying to proceed with the work with the work at hand. The final result saw Rins end up in 18th place with 1’58.042 and Iannone in 20th with 1’58.194.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, together with the riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins and the whole Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan, wants to take the chance to express their sincere sadness for the loss of the 12+1 World Champion Angel Nieto, who died yesterday in Ibiza. Our condolences go out to Angel’s family and friends.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“The first day has been tricky because of the weather, having one session in wet and one in dry conditions. In the afternoon we tested different settings on the dry, which actually was our purpose, and we couldn’t even attempt a proper time attack. The positive thing is that we have already seen that some of the improvements have proven to be effective. Tomorrow we will try our best to also improve the lap time, while continuing to check the different available solutions.
The image that all of us have of Angel is of a person who is always kind, smiling, and with a nice word ready. This is what will remain with us most to all of us. I wasn’t born early enough to experience him as a rider, but I did know and appreciate him as a person. He was extremely charismatic and will be missed a lot. He has been an important point of reference for all the young Spanish riders and a teacher for us all. I’m sure he will continue to be a source of inspiration for many riders but also for us in the paddock.”
“A strange day due to the conditions; in the afternoon it got dryer but the grip was not the optimal. This one has been a sort of “development” day for us since we had different solutions from Japan to test. We were waiting for them, so it’s been nice to have them available in the end. What we’ve tried proved to be positive and interesting. They have yet to be finalized, but my feelings are positive. Having this as main focus, we ran the whole session with only one set of tyres. We didn’t go for the soft tyres for a proper time attack, and this of course had a massive influence on the rankings; we are far behind where we deserve to be. But we had to do this work and I’m happy for the improvements. We will be able to improve a lot tomorrow.
To me Angel was not only a superb motorcycling champion, 12+1 World Champion he liked to say, but most important an excellent person. He was always ready to give good advice and always had a kind word when you had a bad race. A few days before his accident we met and we spent the whole evening talking. He spoke some words that I will keep with me forever. He spoke to me as a dad to his son, and this is the best memory I will carry with me of him.”
“Brno is a tricky track that requires many laps and experience to properly understand and give 100%. The work process is going smooth, we tested some things and I’m confident tomorrow we will be able to improve significantly and get a good preparation for the Sunday’s race.
Everyone in the paddock is inconsolable and you can feel the immense sadness. Angel is a legend and this is a big loss for his family, the sport, for the motorcycling family, and for all the people who knew him. I would like to send my deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
GP of Czech Republic – Combined qualification after Day 1:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team – 1’56.332
2. Jonas FOLGER, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’56.730 +0.398
3. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’56.751 +0.419
4. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’56.862 +0.530
5. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’56.864 +0.532
6. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing – 1’56.905 +0.573
7. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team – 1’56.933 +0.601
8. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda – 1’56.961 +0.629
9. Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’57.019 +0.687
10. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team – 1’57.209 +0.877
11. Maverick VIÑALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’57.289 +0.957
12. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’57.314 +0.982
13. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’57.378 +1.046
14. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’57.396 +1.064
15. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team – 1’57.637 +1.305
16. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team – 1’57.869 +1.537
17. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing – 1’57.992 +1.660
18. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’58.042 +1.710
19. Jack MILLER EG 0,0, Marc VDS – 1’58.179 +1.847
20. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’58.194 +1.862
21. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1’58.437 +2.105
22. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’58.638 +2.306
23. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1’59.382 +3.050
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
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