Andrea IANNONE: P6 - +3.871
Alex RINS: P8 - +12.208
A solid race at the Phillip Island circuit allowed Team SUZUKI ECSTAR to achieve a favourable result, with Andrea Iannone finishing in 6th place after a hard fight for the podium. Alex Rins finished in 8th after a consistent race, very close to the leading group.
With wet and cold conditions in the mornings warm-up, both riders struggled to maintain an effective performance. Iannone ended the session in 12th (1'40.545) and Rins in 21st (1'41.359).
With temperatures rising and the sun drying the track for the afternoon, the improvements made recently in the setups paid off and allowed both riders to perform more effectively.
Very fast at the start, Iannone immediately positioned himself well in the leading group, with a solid pace and strong riding. He fought fiercely in the top six positions for the entirety of the race and he was also able to come within reach of a podium position nearing the end. However he was not able to convert the opportunity into reality and get the podium at the chequered flag. He was forced to drop back a few places in the very last two laps.
Alex Rins executed an effective jump as the red light went off and then immediately overtook several other riders, advancing his position at the first corner. Getting into the race, the Spaniard was able to immediately set a confident pace that allowed him to gain positions and stay close to the leading group of eight, leaving a sizable gap between him and the rest that followed. His whole race was a solid and consistent one. Despite not being able to get into the fight for the top six, he kept the pace in the front. Only in the very final laps did he have to let up which created a small gap with the 7th place rider. Fortunately this did not affect his position and he finished in 8th.
Davide Brivio Team Manager
After the positive race we had in Motegi in the wet, its been nice here to see that we can be competitive on a dry track as well and stay in the leading group with the top competitors. Andrea had a fierce race with hard-fought battles and Alex set and maintained a fast pace until the end, when he had to let up because of a drop in the tyre. Were happy we confirmed on a dry track the improvements weve made in the wet. We have to continue this positive trend in the last two races. I also want to congratulate both riders for todays race; Andrea, for having held on tight and fought with the best, and Alex who made another step of improvement and conducted a solid race. This progression is very positive for us and I hope it will also help in the last two races.
The race for sure has been a positive one for us. Its been a while since we fought in the leading group for the whole race. Im happy for how weve worked during this weekend; the whole team and Suzuki did a great job in the last two races. We all know that we still have to improve, following this direction weve found, and Im confident for the future. Im disappointed that I couldnt finish in a better position, but I couldn't feel enough grip to make use of our acceleration and keep up with the others. Anyway I gave it all I had. In the very last laps I also found myself in third and second place, but I had to let up because I couldnt really control the bike. I want to thank the whole team and the Company and I hope I will be able to reward them with a positive 2018.
Im very happy for the result because this weekend has been a very complicated one thanks to the variable and hard weather conditions. But today I felt really good and the position was not bad at all. I was able to stay with the leading group for nearly the whole race, but then with six or seven laps to go I had to give up because the rear grip had a big drop. It was getting worn and I couldnt make any further attempts. The GSX-RR behaved very well and Im happy. The fight in the leading group has been very fierce and it was nice to see both our Suzukis in the mix. This means that the development that we are doing on the bike is working, and I feel Im improving myself as well, which give me confidence for the future.
GP of Australia Race classification:
1. Marc MARQUEZ, Repsol Honda Team - 40'49.772
2. Valentino ROSSI, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +1.799
3. Maverick VIALES, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - +1.826
4. Johann ZARCO, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +1.842
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW, LCR Honda - +3.845
6. Andrea IANNONE, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +3.871
7. Jack MILLER, EG 0,0 Marc VDS - +5.619
8. Alex RINS, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR - +12.208
9. Pol ESPARGARO, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - +16.251
10. Bradley SMITH, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing - +16.262
11. Scott REDDING, OCTO Pramac Racing - +21.652
12. Dani PEDROSA, Repsol Honda Team - +21.668
13. Andrea DOVIZIOSO, Ducati Team - +21.692
14. Karel ABRAHAM, Pull&Bear Aspar Team - +26.110
15. Jorge LORENZO, Ducati Team - +26.168
16. Tito RABAT, EG 0,0 Marc VDS - +26.252
17. Alvaro BAUTISTA, Pull&Bear Aspar Team - +36.377
18. Loris BAZ, Reale Avintia Racing - +39.654
19. Sam LOWES, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - +40.400
20. Hector BARBERA, Reale Avintia Racing - +45.901
21. Danilo PETRUCCI, OCTO Pramac Racing - +48.768
22. Broc PARKES, Monster Yamaha Tech 3 - +57.711
Aleix ESPARGARO, Aprilia Racing Team Gresini - 20 Laps