Team Suzuki Press Office - November 18.

Alex Rins: 2nd (+ 2.750)
Andrea Iannone: DNF

• Alex Rins brings home sublime second place.
• Andrea Iannone victim of a crash on treacherous track.
• Team SUZUKI ECSTAR end the season with ninth podium.

The Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia had plenty of shocks and surprises before the final fireworks marked the close of the 2018 season. But Team SUZUKI ECSTAR secure a ninth podium finish.

After a weekend of chilly and wet conditions, the riders knew race day would be tricky. As the lights went out Alex Rins fired to the front from his 2nd place grid spot. The young Spaniard didn’t look back and built on his lead with each sector, setting several ‘fastest laps’. Meanwhile, Andrea Iannone also made a good start and slotted into the second group. However, as conditions worsened the Italian sadly crashed out of 5th place on Lap 9. The rain continued to pour down and the attrition rate spiked, making for nerve-wracking times for the now dominant race leader, Rins. On Lap 15 the organisers threw the red flag due to safety concerns.

With less than the required three-quarters race distance completed the officials opted for a restart and a secondary 14 lap race after the rain had eased off. The remaining riders lined-up in order of the previous race standings, giving Alex Rins pole. He executed another superb start and took the ‘holeshot’ into the first corner. After a short battle at the front with Dovizioso and Rossi he dropped to third but stayed in contention. Rossi crashed with 4 laps to to go, and Alex simply needed to stay on to secure 2nd place - no easy feat! However, with careful race management and precise riding throughout the day the #42 crossed the line to take his fifth podium of the season, and Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s ninth.

Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“From Motegi to here we’ve managed to take four consecutive podiums and three consecutive second places - this is incredible and I’m very happy. Today was Andrea’s last race with us and unfortunately he crashed despite performing well. I want to thank him very much for these two years together, I’ll never forget working with him. Alex has matured so much this season and achieved a lot, so we’re really looking forward to next year, we feel a win is coming!”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“We’ve achieved another podium, which is a great way to finish this season! We got nine in total, which is a record for Suzuki in the MotoGP era. Four of these nine podiums came from Andrea and today was a real pity for him, because he showed good speed and I feel we could’ve had both riders at the front. I’m really sorry for Andrea that his race ended in this way, and I want to say thank you to him for these past two years together. He gave an important contribution to our development thanks to the internal competition that Alex and him created, I want to wish him all the best for his carreer. Alex’s attitude in these very tricky conditions was impressive, he was able to push and control everything well. In both parts of the race he was very strong and I’m really pleased with his performance. We hope to keep hold of this happy feeling throughout the winter.”

Alex Rins
“I’m very happy and we made had an incredible weekend. During the first part of the race I was leading for twelve or thirteen laps and I pulled a good gap, but when the rain came Dovizioso and Rossi caught me. For the second half of the race, after the stoppage, I had more or less the same strategy; I tried to get the best start possible, and I pushed a lot because I really wanted the podium and fifth place in the championship. It feels great to have another podium. I hope next year I’ll be at the front in almost all the races, we got a lot of experience this year and I think we’re ready for it.”

Andrea Iannone
“I wanted to end the season in a good way, but it couldn’t be done. I was recovering positions and I was at the front of my group, but the conditions were really hard and I lost the rear of my bike. In any case, racing can be like this sometimes. I didn’t want to give up and I wanted to push hard, and perhaps this was the reason. This year has not been very easy but we’ve had a lot of really positive moments and it’s been a pleasure for me to work with these incredible people and this great factory. On Monday I’ll start a new chapter and a new adventure. Good luck to Alex, Joan Mir, and Suzuki for the future.”

GP of Valencia - Race Classification:
1. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 24'03.408
2. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +2.750
3. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +7.406
4. Michele PIRRO Ducati Team +8.647
5. Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team +13.351
6. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +32.288
7. Johann ZARCO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +32.806
8. Bradley SMITH Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +33.111
9. Stefan BRADL LCR Honda CASTROL +36.376
10. Hafizh SYAHRIN Monster Yamaha Tech 3 +37.198
11. Scott REDDING Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +44.326
12. Jorge LORENZO Ducati Team +46.146
13. Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP +52.809
14. Karel ABRAHAM Angel Nieto Team +1'10.628
15. Jordi TORRES Reale Avintia Racing +1'16.739
Not Classified
19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Angel Nieto Team
25 Maverick VIÑALES Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
9 Danilo PETRUCCI Alma Pramac Racing
93 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team
41 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
43 Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing
21 Franco MORBIDELLI EG 0,0 Marc VDS
12 Thomas LUTHI EG 0,0 Marc VDS

MotoGP Final World Standings 2018:
1. Marc MARQUEZ Honda 321
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati 245
3. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 198
4. Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 193
5. Alex RINS Suzuki 169
6. Johann ZARCO Yamaha 158
7. Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda 148
8. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati 144
9. Jorge LORENZO Ducati 134
10. Andrea IANNONE Suzuki 133
11. Dani PEDROSA Honda 117
12. Alvaro BAUTISTA Ducati 105
13. Jack MILLER Ducati 91
15. Franco MORBIDELLI Honda 50
16. Hafizh SYAHRIN Yamaha 46
17. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 44
18. Bradley SMITH KTM 38
19. Tito RABAT Ducati 35
20. Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 33
21. Scott REDDING Aprilia 20
22. Michele PIRRO Ducati 14
23. Karel ABRAHAM Ducati 12
24. Stefan BRADL Honda 10
25. Mika KALLIO KTM 6
26. K. NAKASUGA Yamaha 2
27. Xavier SIMEON Ducati 1
28. Jordi TORRES Ducati 1
29. Thomas LUTHI Honda
30. Mike JONES Ducati
31. Sylvain GUINTOLI Suzuki
32. Christophe PONSSON Ducati

Story issued by Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.

Valencia MotoGP Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Final Championship Positions: CLICK HERE

For more stories about Alex Rins, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Andrea Iannone, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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