The third and final test before the MotoGP season officially kicks-off in less than two weeks’ time started at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar on Friday. Under the floodlights of the track, the Suzuki Ecstar team riders Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins took the opportunity to finalise details of their GSX-RRs in preparation for the first race of the year.
Although the main specs of the machines had been decided in Australia (such as chassis and engine), much work is still to be done to finalise the set-up and the electronics. The team will also try new fairings in the next days to find some more information to work on.
Iannone took his first lap with the GSX-RR in the night environment, focusing on the finalisation of his machine. He suffered some difficulties in getting a good feel, especially with the front end, that resulted in a crash.
It will require more time and work by the engineers to help Andrea see his usual performance.
His best lap of the day was 1:55.751, which left him tenth overall.
“On this first day we have focused on the settings. We are encountering new problems similar to chattering and we are trying to find some solutions,” he said. “I also incurred a crash, with no injuries, just because I was trying to push it to the limit. I’m struggling to find the right feel with the front end. I do not feel completely confident in hard braking, and then when I get to the maximum leaning I feel the front sliding away and in fact this was the cause of the crash."
"However, I’m positive because my feeling is that the classification is not really reflective of our stage of development. I struggle on the single lap, but my pace is not that far from the top riders. Of course, we have to work on all aspects, to be performing both in the timed attack and in the pace, but for sure the first thing is the one we have to improve most.”