Yesterday, Alex Rins’ Suzuki caught fire on pit lane and today, with the same bike, the Spaniard did the best time. So, the Sepang weekend could not have started any better as he finished the free practice sessions ahead of the rest.
“We knew that the Suzuki would be competitive – he began – Compared to February, the bike has changed a lot, particularly in terms of the engine, electronics and aerodynamics. So, we need to keep going in this direction, improving braking since we are still suffering a bit there, and trying to be strong on the flying lap in qualifying.”
And to think that yesterday the same GSX-RR had caught fire.
“The team did an incredible job – he recalled – Yesterday, when the Suzuki caught fire, I was here in the garage. I saw every member of the team working hard to lend a hand, putting the fire out. The funny thing is that I did the time in FP2 with the same bike that caught fire.”
So, the expression on Alex’s face betrays plenty of confidence.
“We can say that we are “on fire” – he joked – as if we have a fire inside. Compared to FP1, we changed a few things with the electronics, such as the mapping, for example, and I must say that the sensations are excellent. I am obviously surprised by the performance – he concluded – and even more so by having solved the problem that happened yesterday. As for the tyres, the sensations have been positive.”
On the other hand, Andrea Iannone was forced to chase from behind, doing the ninth best time at almost nine tenths of a second behind his teammate.
“The weather conditions were difficult, but the second session proved to be positive – the Italian rider stated – I have a few problems in braking and acceleration, so I’ll need to improve in order to take full advantage of the potential. I am really struggling in the third sector and I am still lacking the necessary confidence since the Suzuki slides around too much.”
In the meantime, Rins is at the top of the heap.
“We can compare data – Andrea pointed out – He has a different frame than I do here. This is not a really important aspect. All that counts is solving the problem. Unfortunately, Sepang has not been a positive track for me right from the tests and, as I said, I don’t have good grip and I am struggling to accelerate.”