After mixed weather on Friday and Saturday, Austin and the Circuit of the Americas was bathed in welcome sunshine for race day. Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins were able to use the morning warm-up session to fine-tune bike settings and redefine their race setup, both riders found confidence and positivity ahead of the 20 lap race. They each opted to run the medium-front and hard-rear tyre combination.
As the lights went out, Andrea Iannone was able to get an excellent start from his front row grid position and he led into the first turn. He lost the position to Marc Marquez on the first lap but continued to stay in contention, fighting hard and keeping a high pace. This consistency paid off as he briefly regained the lead on the third lap. The Italian then held 2nd place for a further two laps before Maverick Viñales made a move. From 3rd place Andrea maintained and managed the gap and held firm – his perseverance and the hard work of all the team was richly rewarded with his first Suzuki podium. With this brilliant finish Andrea Iannone was able to gain 4 positions in the championship standings, and he is now just 15 points from the lead as MotoGP heads back to Europe.
It was a different story for Argentina podium sitter, Alex Rins. After a good start the Spaniard slotted into 9th place and kept the lead group in his sights, but he dropped to 12th position after running wide at turn 12 with 19 laps to go. Rins then began to gain ground on the group in front of him, which ran from 5th to 7th place, but unfortunately he lost the front and crashed. Rins was unable to rejoin the race, and he suffered a costly DNF. However, Alex was thankfully uninjured.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“It was a good race again. This weekend was a bit of a pity for Alex, but Andrea was very fast and consistent during all the sessions, and finally he could get the podium. I’m very happy as both riders have now had a podium, and this is very good for Suzuki and all the team. So we hope to continue to challenge and fight for podiums with both riders as we move into the European rounds.”
Text and Photos – Team Suzuki Press Office