The first race of the season had some ups-and-downs for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR as rookie Alex Rins scored ninth in his first race in the MotoGP™ class, while team-mate Andrea Iannone fell as he was fighting for a podium position at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar tonight.
The start of the race was hectic, with rain falling just before the race, and the starting procedure was delayed by nearly 45 minutes. But after two warm-up laps, Race Management cleared the GP to begin.
Although 18th on the grid, Rins kept his nerves during the hectic situation at the start of the race and made a very positive jump as soon as the red lights went out, gaining some positions at the first corner and advancing into 12th. This allowed him to keep within distance of the more-experienced faster riders ahead of him and he continued his progress throughout.
On the final corner of the last lap he made another overtake to slip into ninth position, a result that made him the first MotoGP™ class debutant rider at the chequered flag and he now leads the special classification of ‘Rookie of the Year.’
“My feeling is that it’s been an incredible race. I’ve learnt a lot more than in practice. At the beginning, I made a really good start. Then, in the race, it was a little hard for me to overtake faster racers. I think we have a very competitive bike for getting into the top-10 consistently. And for the next races, we will need to work more in the free practices to start in a better condition for the race.”
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