You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Suzuki struggling in early part of MotoGP season


While Yamaha is rolling and Honda is eyeing this weekend’s Red Bull of the Americas Grand Prix as its season breakout, Suzuki has been noticeably absent from the upper half of the MotoGP standings.

Through two of the 18 stops on the tour, Suzuki drivers Alex Rins and Andrea Iannone are 16th and 22nd, respectively, heading into the race at Circuit of the Americas. Rins has seven points and Iannone is scoreless. Rins is riding with a broken ankle he suffered in a motorcycle accident the week between the Qatar and Argentina races.

Former world champion Kevin Schwantz, an Austinite who does some promotional work for Suzuki, has a theory about the manufacturer’s struggles.

“I think Suzuki was going off how good they were last year, figured they didn’t have to change much, just fine tune the new riders and they’d improve,” Schwantz said. “Maybe they just didn’t do all the work they should have this offseason. They find themselves a little behind right now.

“It’s pretty disappointing because I think the bike is good enough that it should consistently be scoring points.”

In fairness, Suzuki lost young gun Maverick Vinales, fourth in the 2016 standings, to Yamaha. Vinales has won both MotoGP races this year. Aleix Espargaro, 11th last year while with Suzuki, jumped to Aprilia and is 12th in the early going of the 2017 season.

Moto2 update: Franco Morbidelli has dominated Moto2, winning both races. Thomas Luthi and Miguel Oliveira also have looked formidable. Oliveira, the Portuguese rider, gave the new KTM intermediate class chassis its first podium finish in Argentina, and COTA might set up well for him.

Moto3 update: In all three series, one man has won both races in 2017. Joan Mir of Spain has the maximum 50 points in Moto3 while John McPhee of the GB Team is in pursuit with 40. Enea Bastianini, last year’s series runner-up, and Nicolo Bulega, the junior world champ, are two riders who haven’t found their stride yet, but they like the Austin track. Both posted top-10 finishes at COTA last year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

When athletes play through pain of losing loved one, it reveals their humanity
When athletes play through pain of losing loved one, it reveals their humanity

He hadn't yet buried his sister. She'd died, suddenly and unexpectedly, just a few days earlier. But there he was a couple months ago, in the first, raw stage of grief, back in the office — a colleague of mine, just the same as we witnessed of Celtics' superstar guard Isaiah Thomas over the past week. It was the most emotional of moments any...
James' mark of playoff wins reflects more than  otherworldly skills
James' mark of playoff wins reflects more than otherworldly skills

J.R. Smith had no idea that he was a member of the last team that beat LeBron James in a first-round playoff game. "I try not to remember too much of my New York days," Smith said of his troubled tenure with the Knicks. James insisted he didn't remember his last first-round loss, either. It came on May 6, 2012, with the Miami Heat. As Carmelo...
Before crouching behind plate, Romine brushes away adversity
Before crouching behind plate, Romine brushes away adversity

When Austin Romine returned from the Triple-A All-Star Game two years ago, it was with a bounce in his step, certain that he had rejuvenated his career. Just a few months before, Romine had been the final cut by the New York Yankees after playing poorly in spring training. Free to sign with any club, he returned to the Yankees’ top minor league...
Allen, Howard lead Alabama’s big draft class
Allen, Howard lead Alabama’s big draft class

Alabama's defense figures to resume its dominant ways during the NFL draft.  Bedeviled by Deshaun Watson and Clemson in the national championship game loss , the Crimson Tide could have three defenders selected in the first round next week in Philadelphia. Five members of the front seven have a shot at being picked in the first three rounds, and...
Married a year, and in love with his game

When Scott McCarron registered for last week’s PGA Tour Champions stop at Big Cedar Lodge, his first instinct was to renew his wedding vows. A year ago, he and his then-girlfriend, Jenny Klein, took one look from the first tee at Top of the Rock, the nine-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed par-3 course that co-hosts the event, gazed at the Ozark Mountains...
More Stories