Andrea Iannone says he’s come away from the final preseason test of the 2017 MotoGP year ‘neither happy nor sad’ after continuing to make progress as he learns the nuances of the Suzuki GSX-RR machine.
Finishing the test in a disappointing 13th overall, he nonetheless was positive that things are starting to come together for him on the blue bike after the switch from the factory Ducati machines.
“Overall today it was a bit like the other two days - neither too happy, nor too sad. The most important thing is that after each day we learn a little more, we understand a little more. I have to say that today was the best day of all because we have been able to understand one important thing. At the end, in the last three laps we have improved a lot, riding at 1´55 and we have had a bolt of lightning that has helped us understand where we have to go.
“Having a pace of 1´55 is something we had not been able to achieve throughout the test so far, so at least I'm a little happier. We still have a bit of chattering, especially on Turn 6, where I can’t get in and slow down like I'd like, but we've improved and that's what's important. And above all, I have managed to find the confidence with the brake and I was able to brake better, something that could not do before.”
However, things were much more positive on the other side of the garage, with teammate Alex Rins upbeat about his 15th place finish.
“The truth is that I am very happy about how the three days of testing in Qatar have gone. When we had problems, we knew how to manage them and pull forward. The first two days we tried to evolve the bike and try to improve with the race-pace. But, it was the third day that allowed us to take a step forward, not only for a lap, but the race-pace. We are quite satisfied with the performance.
“For the race, we have to work a little more but at least we already know which path we have to take. The pre-season in general has gone quite well despite the crash in Valencia. I was able to get the pace and adapt well to the bike. The truth is that the team also helped me a lot to adapt quickly. I would have liked to do the test that we missed in Jerez, but with more kilometres we will adapt even more to the bike.”
Team boss Davide Brivio also came away from the test smiling, pleased with how well his two new signings are working out as the team prepare for the opening round of the season next weekend.
“At the end we can say we finished this Qatar test with a smile, meaning that we worked very intensively in these three days trying to find a good set-up. Both Alex and Andrea, at the very end, finally got a good vibe. It looks like we could find some solution that allows Andrea to ride more relaxed and easy. Alex, as well, did a good job during the day; he improved more and more and he also made some good laps at a good pace. I’d say these have been three tough days, but it seems we found our way. Of course, it will need to be verified at the racing weekend, but at the moment I think we may have normalised the situation. Let’s see, now we will try to better-understand the information we got in the winter season and then we go for the Championship.
“For now, it´s enough with the testing. It’s time to get in the game and get serious. We will be here again in 10 days and we will take advantage of the free practice sessions to check if the intuition we had today will be effective. And then, let the season begin so we can see the real status of the art compared to all other competitors.”
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