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The ‘Maniac’ is back: Iannone third to begin the #QatarTest

Team Suzuki Ecstar rider took P3 on Day 1 – and was less than a tenth off the top

“Every track, every circuit is beautiful,” says Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) when asked about his form at Qatar, insisting that it’s not down to any track favouritism on his part. The ‘Maniac’ was third fastest on Day 1 to back up his incredible record at the track, having been on the front row last season and fighting at the front from the off for the Hamamatsu factory.

Talking more business, the Italian was positive after the first day of the #QatarTest this season – and says he felt much better in the desert.

“I think we’ve started this test well,” explains the Italian, “and the feeling is really good, especially with the front. From the first test I’ve struggled with front feeling but now today here I have a good feeling and could push hard. The bike was turning really well and at the end I’m happy and we worked well.”

The number 29 didn’t get much more specific, but did say that work is largely focused on race setup – and again, that all-important feeling.

“It’s important to improve the feeling with the bike. We have difficulties in some areas, especially in the changes of direction in braking, and we’re focusing a lot on that. We tried some things and compared them, and we didn’t make a big step but we’re trying to prepare the race.”

That race is now only two weeks away, but two more days of testing remain at Losail, from 13:00 local time (GMT +3) until 21:00 on Friday and Saturday.