Following a successful Friday and Saturday at Phillip Island in Australia, expectations were high for the 17th round of the championship. In Sunday morning’s Warm-Up session Andrea Iannone stamped his authority once again by setting the fastest time, with Alex Rins close by in 6th.
As the complex 27 lap race got underway in chilly but bright conditions, Iannone and Rins opted for the medium-hard tyre combination. Both riders got great starts and immediately slotted into the lead group, with Iannone setting the fastest lap on only lap 3. Alex Rins lost a few positions after being sat up by Viñales, but he was able to manage his race well and rejoin the lead group, where he persevered until the flag to take a very solid 5th place.
Andrea Iannone was in the fight for top spot and was very close to a huge incident between Zarco and Marquez, however, the Italian kept his focus and continued to push until the end, despite a couple of small mistakes. With 5 laps to go he made his move into 2nd place and proceeded to resist all challenges to achieve an excellent 2nd place, his best result with Suzuki. These strong finishes from the team-mates sees them both close up in the championship standings, giving extra motivation for the final two races.
Iannone, said, “I’m really happy, especially as we were at the top almost all weekend long, and this gives us a lot of positivity. We worked together on improving my feeling with the bike and it meant I was able to finish really close to the top. I felt able to win but it was a hard fight with the others and I was losing ground with them. When I managed to overtake them and keep them behind I realised I couldn’t catch Viñales, so I just tried to defend and manage the tyres. At the end I pushed at 100% to make sure I could get 2nd place.”
Rins, said, “It was an interesting race and I was able to learn a lot. During the first part, when I was inside the group, I was feeling good but then when I got the contact from Maverick I lost a lot of ground and it cost me a lot because the group got away, but this is racing. I also lost further time trying to overtake Miller. But we want to focus on the positive points, and there were many, for instance the way I was able to battle with Rossi and defend my 5th place. We’re going to Malaysia with good feelings and we are prepared, so we hope for another nice result there.”
Davide Brivio, Team Manager, said, “This has been another very good day for our team, we took another podium, the second in a row and the third in 4 races. Andrea had a great battle with many riders and was able to finish 2nd. Because of this big battle it was hard to catch the leader, but anyway, it was a good race and we scored our 7th podium of the season. Alex finishing 5th was also very positive, Top 5 is really important to us. I really hope we can continue like this for the last two rounds of the season and thanks again to everybody involved for always working hard, especially on difficult times.”