Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins Takes His First MotoGP Podium

Published by insideracingadmin Date posted on April 14, 2018

The GP of Argentina last April 8, 2018 had plenty to offer, even before the lights went out; a delayed start due safety concerns as weather conditions changed and many riders wished to switch tires, meant tensions were running high. However, this did not impact on the focus of Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone and the pair made good starts from their newly formed grid positions.

 

Alex Rins (42) and Andrea Iannone (29)

 

Alex Rins was able to slot into 5th place in the opening moments of the Grand Prix, and as he was settling into his race rhythm he gained and lost some positions as the battle was getting fierce. Alex stayed with the small lead group and attempted to take to the front several times before briefly making it stick with 9 laps to go, spectacularly smoking his rear tire as he did so. With mixed track conditions and drama happening all around him, the 22-year-old kept his concentration and rhythm and entered the last lap in 3rd place, a position which he brilliantly held until the chequered flag. This marks his best ever result in MotoGP.

 

 

Andrea Iannone was able to make good progress on the opening few laps, passing Smith and Rossi to take 8th place. As the race wore on the Italian lost some ground, but was able to regain positions as others faltered around him. At the end of the race he was able to finish within the Top 10 – a valuable 8th place, and gaining decent points. This was especially important after Andrea struggled with settings during the wet weekend and could not qualify as high as he’d hoped.

 

 

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“It was a good race and a good fight. We could see how Alex has grown and improved, and I’m very happy. Unfortunately Andrea, due to the bad qualifying position, couldn’t show his best performance, but he still finished in the Top 10. This race has been very good for the team, and we will continue to grow with Alex and Andrea and keep pushing for even higher positions.”

 

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Of course this was a very nice race, the first podium for Alex – we have been expecting that. I’m very happy, not only for the podium, but also because Alex was very competitive and fighting at the front for the whole race and trying to win. Despite difficult conditions; the track had damp patches and it was hard to keep the right line, he managed very well today and during the whole weekend. So we took a difficult weekend and managed to make a brilliant podium from it. I think, and I hope, that we can have more days like today. We were competitive in Qatar and also here, so let’s try to keep this trend. I’m sorry for Andrea as he couldn’t push very hard during the race, and now we have to understand how we can improve his feeling and how we can work to bring him closer to the top.”

 

Alex Rins


“I’m very satisfied with this race, because it wasn’t easy and before the start I was nervous due to the delay and everything. But finally, when we started, I was feeling really good from the beginning. When I was behind Miller I was thinking ‘OK, maybe I need to overtake him and go’, because my feeling was perfect. But when I was leading I made a small mistake – the track was very difficult with the damp patches, especially off the racing line. Myself, my team, and everyone in Japan has worked really hard to have a competitive bike, and we’ve done it! Texas is one of my favorite tracks, despite the fact that last year I had a fast crash and broke my arm. This year we arrive with strong mentality, more experience, and a great bike.”

 

Andrea Iannone


“I was one of the first riders to decide to switch bikes after the first warm-up lap, but unfortunately everybody copied me! I’m joking, but the truth is that in just a few minutes the asphalt and conditions changed a lot. In any case, I didn’t have a good grid position and that disappointed me because I had really good pace during the race when I was closing the gaps to the other riders. But in the end, often when I tried to overtake I made a few mistakes and I think that has been the most difficult thing for me. But I’m really happy for Suzuki and Alex for this podium. And my own result has also been quite good. Me and my team are working well and it’s possible to get to the top. We’ll try our best in Austin!”

 

GP of Argentina – Race Classification:
1. Cal CRUTCHLOW           LCR Honda CASTROL             40’36.342
2. Johann ZARCO                Monster Yamaha Tech              3 +0.251
3. Alex RINS                        Team SUZUKI ECSTAR           +2.501
4. Jack MILLER                    Alma Pramac Racing                +4.390
5. Maverick VIÑALES           Movistar Yamaha MotoGP        +14.941
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO         Ducati Team                              +22.533
7. Tito RABAT                       Reale Avintia Racing                 +23.026
8. Andrea IANNONE           Team SUZUKI ECSTAR            +23.921
9. Hafizh SYAHRIN              Monster Yamaha Tech 3            +24.311
10. Danilo PETRUCCI          Alma Pramac Racing                 +26.003
11. Pol ESPARGARO           Red Bull KTM Factory Racing    +31.022
12. Scott REDDING              Aprilia Racing Team Gresini       +31.891
13. Takaaki NAKAGAMI        LCR Honda IDEMITSU              +32.452
14. Franco MORBIDELLI      EG 0,0 Marc VDS                       +42.061
15. Jorge LORENZO            Ducati Team                                +42.274
16. Alvaro BAUTISTA           Angel Nieto Team                        +42.625
17. Thomas LUTHI               EG 0,0 Marc VDS                        +43.350
18. Marc MARQUEZ            Repsol Honda Team                    +43.860
19. Valentino ROSSI            Movistar Yamaha MotoGP           +52.082
20. Karel ABRAHAM            Angel Nieto Team                         +1’03.944
21. Xavier SIMEON              Reale Avintia Racing                    +1’10.144
Not Classified
38. Bradley SMITH               Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
41. Aleix ESPARGARO        Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Not Finished 1st Lap
26. Dani PEDROSA             Repsol Honda Team

MotoGP World Standings 2018: 
1. Cal CRUTCHLOW          Honda         38
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO       Ducati          35
3. Johann ZARCO              Yamaha       28
4. Maverick VIÑALES         Yamaha       21
5. Marc MARQUEZ             Honda         20
6. Jack MILLER                  Ducati          19
7. Danilo PETRUCCI          Ducati          17
8. Valentino ROSSI            Yamaha       16
9. Alex RINS                      Suzuki        16
10. Andrea IANNONE       Suzuki        15
11. Tito RABAT                   Ducati         14
12. Dani PEDROSA            Honda          9
13. Hafizh SYAHRIN           Yamaha       9
14. Franco MORBIDELLI    Honda         6
15. Pol ESPARGARO         KTM            5
16. Scott REDDING            Aprilia          4
17. Alvaro BAUTISTA         Ducati          3
18. Takaaki NAKAGAMI     Honda          3
19. Karel ABRAHAM          Ducati          1
20. Jorge LORENZO          Ducati          1
21. Thomas LUTHI             Honda
22. Bradley SMITH             KTM
23. Aleix ESPARGARO      Aprilia
24. Xavier SIMEON            Ducati

Story and photos by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR

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