Andrea Iannone is taking heart from his Suzuki team-mate Alex Rins’ pace at the winter test in Thailand ahead of this weekend’s maiden MotoGP round at the Chang International Circuit.

Iannone felt he struggled during the test in February, although Rins fared much better on the GSX-RR.

The Suzuki riders have arrived in Buriram in excellent form after Iannone finished third ahead of Rins at Aragon, but Iannone is reserving judgement on his prospects of another podium on Sunday for now.

“For sure in Aragon it was a really good race for us, for me and Alex and also for Suzuki team. We pushed a lot from the beginning and remained rally close from Marc (Marquez) and Dovi (Andrea Dovizioso), but here is a completely different track for us.

“We will see but during the test I struggled a lot in his track – Alex less than me, Alex rides fast – and this is a positive thing at the moment. In any case, only tomorrow I have an idea for this weekend and I hope to start in a good way for the best situation.”


Spaniard Rins was more optimistic during the pre-race press conference on Thursday and is feeling confident with the Suzuki after a strong ride at Aragon.

“I think in Aragon it was a really good weekend and two weeks before the race we had a good test, but I think during the race we learned a lot, riding with Dovi and Marc, but in the last part I was struggling a little bit on the front tyre. I tried to overtake Andrea to fight for the podium and I was close to crash,” Rins said.

“Anyway I think we are on a good level, we have a very competitive bike and we will try to do our best here. Our last day on the test was good; I was able to be fast. During the test, I like the track a lot because it is a fast track, a lot of fast corners – too or three slow corners – but the layout is fine for me and I think it is good for our bike.”

Suzuki’s results this season mean the factory will no longer be eligible for concessions next season, but Rins does not envisage this to be a major issue.

He said: “On the concessions, I think it doesn’t change for us. Suzuki made a new step on Assen and no more – I’m not saying they don’t work on the factory, they are working really hard – but I mean we will try to work hard on the decisions for a good bike.”