The 27 lap San Marino Grand Prix, Round 13 of the 2018 Championship, was set to be scorching - both in temperature and in atmosphere. Following a straight forward and useful Warm-Up session, Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone were ready to take to the 41c Misano circuit.
From their 10th and 13th place grid places respectively the pair made good starts, with Rins slotting into 7th place and moving his way quickly into 6th - up four positions from grid. Iannone was initially 13th but began to make progress in the early laps. Three laps into the race, Rins moved into 5th, before passing Viñales for 4th. The Spaniard was later passed by Crutchlow, but he was able to hold position, and gained 4th back following a crash from Lorenzo. Rins kept this strong position until the end, earning a great result. Meanwhile, Iannone worked hard to try and catch the group in front of him, closing the gap until the end of the race, when he finished a valuable 8th place.
Rins, said, “During the whole weekend I didn’t feel very fast with the medium tyre, so we chose the soft, and I didn’t think about the degradation too much because I knew I could be strong with the soft tyre. I’m very pleased with the race, it was incredible. The key was making a good start and trying to stay with the front group, and after that I just tried to keep my rhythm, but that became more and more difficult because I started to feel movement on the front end. Anyway, I’m happy with this 4th place and I hope we’ll continue like this.”
Iannone, said, “First of all, when you start near the back of the grid it’s very difficult to recover. For me it was not easy to overtake, especially on the braking points, but in the end I was able to keep pushing and pass some riders, and then start to close the group in front of me. But I ran a bit wide in Turn 10 and lost time, so then I had to recover the gap again. I gave 110% during the race, so in the last 3 laps the tyres were really worn and I was struggling with movement. 8th position is a bit far from my target, but in any case it’s not bad. Aragón is quite a good track for me, with some good memories, so I hope for a better race there.”
Team manager Davide Brivio, said, “We are very happy with this result, because Alex did a very good race and got the best position he could. He was very clever with tyre management and he resisted the pressure behind him, which he had for many laps. So congratulations to him, we’re very happy. Andrea also did a good race, unfortunately I think he was disadvantaged by the grid position because he had to spend time gaining positions at the start, but his pace was good and he could’ve been nearer the top with a better qualifying result. Overall I’m happy because our bike seems to work well and we were very competitive. We’ll try to keep this trend and continue with it in Aragòn.”