Iannone: “We need to improve the tyre life”

Suzuki rider third on Day 1 as the Hamamatsu factory once again show good pace despite the search for more enduring rear grip

Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) topped FP1 at the Pramac Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, and the Italian kept his form in FP2 to end the day in third overall – another impressive showing of pace from the Grand Prix winner. The only non-Ducati in the top four, it was a good start.

“We started well this morning and this afternoon we used used tyres and then put in new tyres to stay in the top ten,” explains Iannone. “The feeling with the bike is good but we lose a lot of performance with less rear grip. I think it’s like that for everybody at this track, but I struggle a lot.”

That was indeed something pointed out by, especially, Danilo Petrucci (Alma Pramac Racing) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) – the two men just in front of and behind Iannone on the timesheets – and the Suzuki rider says that both rear tyre life and qualifying position are the keys to Saturday and Sunday.

“We’ll try to focus on improving that point tomorrow. I hope we can improve a lot because we have really good speed to stay on top, but it’s important to maintain it in the race. We need to improve the tyre life and also the bike a bit, the speed, and it’s important to stay on top during qualifying so we can get a good position on Sunday.”

If they do – either Iannone or teammate Alex Rins – and take another podium, it will, however, spell the loss of concessions for the Hamamatsu factory. Can they do it? The next step is Q2 graduation in FP3 at 9:55 (GMT +2), before qualifying from 14:10.