The 2017 MotoGP World Championship has officially begun at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia as Team SUZUKI ECSTARs Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins got their first taste of the updated GSX-RR machines following the long winter stop.
The two riders are taking a different testing plan, according to their skills; the more-experienced Iannone is already trying some comparisons between the standard GSX-RR used in 2016 and the evolutions developed over the winter, while Rins is still taking some time to get acquainted with the performance of a MotoGP machine, working on his riding style more than on machines improvements. Both riders reported very positive feelings for their first day,
Todays work for the team was not focused on the timing, but was more on the technical development; the 2017 machine is not a completely new bike but the result of some updates to 2016. This meaning that the work asked of the riders is mainly to get well acquainted with the standard machine to have solid references and then make any comparisons with the evolution bike, so that they can address the engineers work. Being so early in the season the job is still a preliminary one, meant to define the direction for the future developments.
Davide Brivio Team Manager:
Id call this a good start of the season, the work with both riders has been positive, with both of them we are proceeding step-by-step to introduce the improvements that has been developed during the winter. We are doing intense work collecting information, today we could do many laps, therefore we have a significant amount of data to work on tonight, also to determine how to adapt for tomorrow. We are introducing many improvements and so the objective of these three days is to decide what is positive and what is ineffective, so that we get the path to follow. Also were happy because Andrea confirmed the good feeling he has with the GSX-RR and Alex showed many improvements with the machine as well as more and more confidence.
For the moment everything is fine. Of course after a long break the main thing is to try to find back the confidence as quick as possible and find a good pace. We could already have some outcomes on the machines, it is very important to keep the comparative so we are working a lot switching the standard 2016 with the 2017 evolution one. We dont have any decisions yet, of course, its long work that requires patience, but were happy with all the information weve collected. The relationship with the crew is very positive, everybody works really hard but the mood makes me very comfortable, Id say my feeling now is really easy.
Alex Rins :
I feel very good on the bike, I believe we have done a positive step since Valencia and now Im starting to get the confidence to be more and more effective. Its a good feeling to be back on the bike after winter, the back is not 100% fit but I did a good preparation and Im recovering. The good thing is that I get better and better feeling with the machine, this is a further push to improve. We found a good set-up with the machine and we started to work on the development. For today we mainly focused in finding a good set-up that makes me confident to take the references with the 2016 standard GSX-RR, so that tomorrow when we will introduce some bigger improvements in the bike I can give affordable feedback to the team with proper comparatives. The whole crew is supporting me at the best, they have big experience in helping a young rider to get acquainted, to take confidence and to improve.
SEPANG TEST Classification after Day 1:
1. STONER, Casey - Ducati Test Team - 1:59.681
2. DOVIZIOSO, Andrea - Ducati Team - 1:59.796 +0.115
3. VIALES, Maverick - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 2:00.128 +0.447
4. BAUTISTA, Alvaro - Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 2:00.134 +0.453
5. IANNONE, Andrea - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 2:00.490 +0.809
6. CRUTCHLOW, Cal - LCR Honda - 2:00.570 +0.889
7. FOLGER, Jonas - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 2:00.643 +0.962
8. ROSSI, Valentino - Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 2:00.695 +1.014
9. MARQUEZ, Marc - Repsol Honda Team - 2:00.737 +1.056
10. BARBERA, Hector - Avintia Racing - 2:00.744 +1.063
11. PETRUCCI, Danilo - OCTO Pramac Yakhnich - 2:00.850 +1.169
12. REDDING, Scott - OCTO Pramac Yakhnich - 2:00.852 +1.171
13. PEDROSA, Dani - Repsol Honda Team - 2:00.970 +1.289
14. ZARCO, Johann - Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - 2:01.224 +1.543
15. ESPARGARO, Aleix - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 2:01.271 +1.590
16. ESPARGARO, Pol - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 2:01.338 +1.657
17. LORENZO, Jorge - Ducati Team - 2:01.350 +1.669
18. BAZ, Loris - Avintia Racing - 2:01.351 +1.670
19. TSUDA, Takuya - Suzuki Test Team - 2:01.812 +2.131
20. RINS, Alex - Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - 2:01.889 +2.208
21. ABRAHAM, Karel - Pull&Bear Aspar Team - 2:01.926 +2.245
22. MILLER, Jack - Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 2:01.942 +2.261
23. NOZANE, Kohta - Yamaha Factory Racing - 2:02.187 +2.506
24. NAKASUGA, Katsuyuki - Yamaha Factory Racing - 2:02.290 +2.609
25. RABAT, Tito - Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS - 2:02.315 +2.634
26. LOWES, Sam - Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 2:02.942 +3.261
27. SMITH, Bradley - Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - 2:03.034 +3.353