Team Suzuki Press Office – November 16.
The opening MotoGP™ test of 2017 has been completed at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia with the first appearance of Suzuki’s new Factory riders, Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins; and after the positive outcome of yesterday, today was more complicated for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR due to crashes from both riders.
First was Rins, who fell this morning at turn 12 because of the loss of the front-end on his GSX-RR. After a first check on-track, he was transferred to the circuit’s ‘Medical Center’ for further checks, where he complained of a lot of pain. For this reason, he was transferred to “Hospital 9 de Octubre” in Valencia for further investigation. He hasn’t suffered major injuries, but he has lesions on thoracic vertebra T8 and T12. He will now remain in hospital for further medical checks and will probably be transferred to Barcelona tomorrow for further medical checks, but his injury is likely to force the young Spaniard to take a month off.
A similar crash at the same spot affected Iannone’s performance, and he suffered pain to his right elbow. But his determination to get back to testing the new machine helped him overcome this; although his performance was not at 100%. Despite this, he completed many laps in the afternoon and gave important feedback to the engineers and his crew that will be helpful to determine the future-development of the Factory GSX-RR and preparation for next week’s test.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR will have a private testing session at Jerez, from Wednesday to Friday, deploying Andrea Iannone and Suzuki Test Team Rider Takuya Tsuda.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Today has been a tough day, as both riders crashed, and especially Rins had some serious problems as a result, which makes us sad. Going back to yesterday, he did a positive job, he only needed to gain the confidence with his machine and he has already made some progress. Also, Iannone had a crash today, which caused some delays in our working-schedule, but luckily he didn’t suffer any major injuries. Overall, these two days have been positive because his feeling in general about our machine is better than my concerns, and we could already clearly-find which areas we have to work on to improve. He proved to be a very fast rider, we already knew it, but it’s good to find a confirmation in this. Now we will test more in Jerez next week to collect as much information and feedback to work with over the Winter.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Overall the test was quite positive but today we had some incidents that interrupted the working plan. Alex crashed this morning and suffered a crush in a couple of vertebra and it seems he should rest for at least three weeks or one month. He will not be at Jerez next week for the private test so we should wait until Sepang. It’s a pity because we have lost a bit of time, but the important thing now is he rests as much as possible. Now we wish him the best recovery and we will meet him again in Sepang.
“Both crashes today were quite similar, but in Alex’s case he took the line where it seems there was a lot of rubber and as soon as he touched the brake he crashed. It was even more strange with Iannone’s crash because he was riding so slow. This incident complicated our working plan a bit, but later-on he could ride again and we were able to get some good information ahead of the private test in Jerez next week.”
Marco Rigamonti – Iannone’s Crew Chief:
“This test has been very positive for us, as Andrea reported very good feelings and could already give important feedback to Suzuki about the areas to improve on. Today he had a crash in the morning, which resulted in some pain to his right elbow. This prevented him pushing 100%, but he managed to do many laps and confirm his positive impressions from yesterday. He reported to have a very good feeling with the corner-speed and the general balance of the machine, as well as he appreciated the extremely-positive handling. We will now focus to improve the traction and acceleration, especially at the first touch of the throttle, and to further-investigate the potential of the electronics. The whole crew is very dedicated to Andrea; they are all keen to listen and understand his feedback and requests and we’re pretty confident they will manage to fulfil his desires. This also contributed to making him feel at ease in the garage during these first two days and we are all eager to go testing in Jerez next week.”
Michele Zasa – Clinica Mobile Medical Co-ordinator:
“Alex Rins suffered this morning a crash and he was moved straight after to the ‘Medical Center’ in the Ricardo Tormo Circuit. He was conscious all the time and he could move both arms and legs and was just complaining with back pain. So, because of that he was moved to the ‘Hospital 9 de Octubre’ in Valencia and he underwent a few exams including a CT Scan and an MRI. Specifically, from these examinations it came out there were lesions on thoracic vertebra T8 and T12 because of the injury, but fortunately the lesion didn’t affect the spine. Alex is at the hospital now waiting for neurosurgical consultation and afterwards we will try to organise the transfer to Barcelona where he will be visited by the medical team in Hospital ‘Clinica Dexeus’.”
“It was a pity to crash early today because I was eager to improve the feeling with the bike and we were following the correct work-plan with the team. I’m disappointed because this test was important to find out the first impressions and to get confidence with the bike, but unfortunately we can’t change what was happened. Now it’s time to come back home, take some rest; and then think about the pre-season. I would like to thank all the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR members for the kindness to me during these set-up days and for all the work they did to show me the best way to kick-off in the MotoGP world.”
Classification of Day 2 at Valencia Test:
1. Maverick VIÑALES – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’29.975
2. Marc MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 1’30.171 + 0.196
3. Andrea DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 1’30.443 + 0.468
4. Andrea IANNONE – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’30.599 + 0.624
5. Dani PEDROSA – Repsol Honda Team – 1’30.686 + 0.711
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda – 1’30.709 + 0.734
7. Valentino ROSSI – Movistar Yamaha MotoGP – 1’30.709 + 0.734
8. Jorge LORENZO – Ducati Team – 1’30.744 + 0.769
9. Aleix ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 1’30.885 + 0.910
10. Jonas FOLGER – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’30.948 + 0.973
11. Johann ZARCO – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 – 1’31.015 + 1.040
12. Jack MILLER – Marc VDS Racing Team – 1’31.069 + 1.094
13. Scott REDDING – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 1’31.118 + 1.143
14. Alvaro BAUTISTA – Pull & Bear Aspar Team – 1’31.186 + 1.211
15. Hector BARBERA – Avintia Racing – 1’31.244 + 1.269
16. Michele PIRRO – OCTO Pramac Yakhnich – 1’31.816 +1.841
17. Pol ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:31.853 +1.878/ 70
18. Tito RABAT – EG 0,0 Marc VDS – 1:31.918 +1.943
19. Loris BAZ – Avintia Racing – 1:32.161 +2.186
20. Bradley SMITH – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 1:32.538 +2.563/ 59
21. Eugene LAVERTY – Aprilia Test Team – 1:32.568 +2.593
22. Karel ABRAHAM – Pull & Bear Aspar Team – 1:32.699 +2.724
23. Takuya TSUDA – Suzuki Test Team – 1’33.305 +3.330
24. Alex RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 1’33.761 + 3.786