2018-10-20 19:41
Following mixed conditions on Day 1 at Twin Ring Motegi, it was all to play for in Saturday morning’s FP3 session. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins used their time well and, importantly, were able to secure direct passage to Q2.

In FP4, with a threat of rain in the air, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders were keen to get a good run of laps and prepare for qualifying. Iannone held 2nd position for much of the session, finishing 3rd while Rins was 7th.

Sylvain Guintoli, riding as a Wild Card entry for the team, was in Q1 as he continued his important work towards the 2019 season. Meanwhile, Andrea and Alex entered an exciting and close Q2. The Italian, breaking into the 1:44 bracket, was just 0.242 seconds from the pole when the chequered flag came out, he will start 5th on the grid. His young Spanish team-mate will start close by in 8th, rounding off a positive Saturday for the team.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“It was a positive day for us, qualifying 5th and 8th, and these are good positions for tomorrow’s race. Both riders seem to have good pace, and Andrea was very close to the top during qualifying. Alex made good progress, ensuring he was in Q2 and then finishing on the third row in 8th. We’ll make some final adjustments tonight to see if we can improve further, but we’re looking forward to the race. Sylvain is continuing his development job and we hope top be able to use at our best the tomorrow race to understand the progress.”

Andrea Iannone
“Today has not been so bad, and I’m happy with my qualifying result. I pushed really hard during the last minutes of the session and I improved a bit, which meant I can start from 5th. For us it’s really good for tomorrow, and we also had strong pace in FP4, so we’re confident. The track conditions could be different tomorrow, and for sure everyone will be close together, but I’ll try my best to stay at the top.”

Alex Rins
“Everything is going in a good way. I rode alone almost all the time and still the lap time was quite fast, so I think this 3rd row tomorrow is really important. I will push from the beginning and I think my race pace is good. I’ll try to stay at the front for as long as possible, and try to fight!”

Sylvain Guintoli
“Today we’ve kept working on the 2019 bike set-up, and we’ve found some new things. It’s good to be here because race weekends are the best way of testing, and we have a lot of new things on the bike, so it really helps with working towards next year and the development. When we’re here at the races we can understand better which direction to take and we can make good choices.”

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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