A brilliant final race of the season gave Suzuki some much deserved satisfaction, with Alex Rins reaching fourth place in the GP de la Comunitat Valenciana and Andrea Iannone not far behind in sixth.
Sunday started with fireworks in this morning’s warmup, as both riders found a very good feel with the bikes and set fast paces. Indeed, Rins clocked the second fastest time of the session (1’31.448 / +0.185s) and Iannone the third (1’31.548 / +0.285s). The riders felt comfortable aboard their GSX-RR´s, able to be consistent over several laps.
Despite a difficult start, Rins was fast to recover the focus and not to lose too many positions from his 10th place in the grid. Passed in 13th place at the end of first lap, the young Spaniard set a very fast pace that allowed him to quickly recover many positions. He kept on overtaking until the 24th lap, when he settled into sixth place.
With a clear track ahead he was able to lap in 1’32”, the same pace as the race leaders, until he crossed the finish line in 4th place. This was his best result of the season and is a clear proof of his potential.
“Overall it has been a good weekend,” Rins said. “We have been improving in each session and we qualified directly to Q2. In the qualifying I expected to get a better position, but otherwise it went well. We had a good pace in the warm-up and I was convinced that I could have a good race. At the start I made a mistake and lost positions, so I had to push from the first lap and try to recover. I think it’s a good way to close the season. Now I’m thinking about the training on Tuesday to start working for next year”
An effective jump when the red lights went off allowed Iannone to keep up with the leaders in first lap. Despite having a good pace at the very beginning, he had to progressively concede positions as the tyres got worn, with fading confidence with the front of his GSX-RR.
However, the Italian did remain steady in the top ten and finished the race in 6th place, with only a 14.516s gap from the race winner.
“It has been a very positive race and we managed to finish within 14 seconds of the winner, and that’s not so bad,” Iannone said. “This means in the last races we made some good improvements. It’s been a pity to be in front at the beginning of the race and then lose some positions because I couldn’t push the brakes to the maximum.”
“ In this category, when you are not able and get the best from the braking, you suddenly lose three or fourth tenths per lap. I’m very enthusiastic now because we restart on Tuesday. A new season when we will surely have new expectations, a new bike, and, I hope, things to make us better.”
The 2017 World Championship sees Andrea Iannone end in 13th place with 70 points and Alex Rins in 16th with 59. Suzuki is 4th in the Constructor World Championship while the Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is 6th.