For Andrea Iannone, the eighth-place time earned in qualifying with his GSX-RR, at more than have a second behind Dovi’s Ducati, is not a result that he is mad about but, considering the speed of the rival bikes, it is nothing to sneeze at either.
The number 29 team Ecstar Italian was satisfied with the potential expressed by his Suzuki, but not entirely pleased with his flying lap: “I may have lost something here and there along the track, but not much - Andrea recounted - In fact, I was truly at the limit. I used the wrong map by mistake. When entering the track, I touched the maps selector with my finger, choosing a less powerful map instead of full power. That is why I lost something on my good lap. Anyway, considering the overall balance, I was happier yesterday: today I had good sensations with the hard tyre during FP4 because I was fast enough, and I maintained a good pace to the end. Nevertheless, I am a bit concerned. Rear tyre grip is not optimum and, compared to my teammate Rins, I have less acceleration in full lean, losing valuable time. We need to figure out what to do in order to improve tomorrow.”
Thinking about the race, what will be the most important aspect to consider?
“It will obviously be important to save the tyres for the entire race distance, but the most important thing that counts is the speed expressed. You save the tyres when you are faster, otherwise you have to struggle, battling with the bike and not pushing to the limit.”
Do you have a strategy? Some adversaries say that it is better to be slow at the beginning and then push in the finale.
“I don’t know if I will have to go slow at the beginning to then go fast in the final laps. In any case, I don’t think that we will be able to implement this strategy. Of course, if race pace in the initial stages is low, we will all be able to save tyre life and we’ll avoid pushing to the limit in the first 10 laps. In MotoGP nobody gives their rivals half a track after just a few laps. I think it will be important to put in a good performance, stay in the lead group and then try to manage the situation, hoping that the pace is not super high from the start. We’ll see. I think we are on the right path and we are working well. As for positions, we have not been exactly shining, but our potential is higher than what has been demonstrated on the flying lap.”
What changes will you make between today and the warm up?
“We need more grip on the rear. We have improved going into corners and braking, but making traction coming out of turns worse. The hard tyre responded well as usual, but I think that the soft will be okay. The high heat will make things difficult, but I am in form and I feel good, so I will be able to do the race without problems.”