Alex Rins is optimistic that he can make further inroads after a promising week of progress at Phillip Island. The Spanish rookie, who struggled earlier in the winter with the Suzuki GSX-RR, was a superb sixth quickest in Australia, just half a second off the ultimate pace.
Although he suffered a crash on Friday afternoon, Rins leaves Australia in high spirits and believes he can pick up where he left off in Qatar next month.
“The truth is that I’m very satisfied with these three days of testing. Apart from the best lap, the most important thing is that our progress during the sessions has been consistent and significant, cutting more than 2.3 seconds since Day One. We are able to better understand the machine and also develop a finer sensitivity with the settings and the changes. With my team, we are working very intensively, and this pays us back in the end. We still have many areas to improve, both in the GSX-RR and in my riding, but our ideas are getting clearer after each session. I also had a little crash today, but this didn’t affect my performance. I’m satisfied with these days and confident that we will be able to further improve.”
Team-mate Andrea Iannone was twelfth fastest and although he didn’t display the same electric single lap pace he had shown in Malaysia, the Italian was happy with his performance over long runs.
“We understand more-and-more the direction we need to take for the future. I managed a very constructive long run where we could put together all the information collected in these three days and I must say the result was not bad at all. Obviously, I couldn’t take advantage of the new tyres for a proper time attack. I ruined the front tyres as I used them so much for the long run attempts, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Therefore, my position in the classification is not the one I’d like, but looking overall, we did a good job. We are working on the electronics but not just there. We have many areas where we can make big or small improvements, and we are trying to fix everything. These kinds of tests require time and patience. It is like being a test rider more than a race rider. It is hard to be in the position of tapping the bike´s full potential, but I’m confident that in Qatar we will reap the benefits of this hard work.”