MotoGP

SUZUKI RIDERS PREPARE TO SET OFF FROM TOP 10 ON SUNDAY


Team Suzuki Press Office – March 5.

Joan Mir: 8th – 1’53.407 (+ 0.396)
Alex Rins: 10th – 1’53.481 (+ 0.470)


Following a great Friday in which Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Alex Rins and Joan Mir bagged 1st and 3rd overall, the squad were keen to get down to business again as the first qualifying day of the season rolled around.

FP3 was windier and therefore dustier than the previous sessions, and with hotter temperatures it was very unlikely that anyone would improve their lap times. This gave Rins and Mir a chance to continue working on set-up while still holding onto the Top 3 positions set the day before.

It was a similar story in FP4, with Suzuki’s riders confirmed for final qualifying there was no major stress heading into the final sessions of the day and FP4 was useful for tyre comparisons and to get more laps under their belts.

For the all-important Q2 the duo opted for soft-soft tyres to try and get a strong lap in early; this initially paid off but as others improved they found themselves slipping down the order. All 12 riders in the session were covered by less than one second.
A final push for Mir and Rins saw them rise to 5th and 6th, but they closed Q2 in 8th and 10th – both around two tenths of a second from the first row.

Joan Mir:

“It’s been a positive day overall; we’ve been working a lot for the race and trying to improve the bike. We used FP4 to work on tyres and it was useful. I expected a bit more in qualifying, but I was struggling a lot against the wind. However, our position isn’t too bad – especially as all the riders were so close. I set my fastest lap alone, so I’m not too upset because that’s not easy. I can feel a big improvement compared to last year and my pace could be good in tomorrow’s race.”

Alex Rins:

“I’m not happy with the result because I was expecting a bit more, but I know that I gave 100% so we need to understand what went wrong to end up 10th. The times between everybody are very close, but overall we’re going in the right direction. Even though it’s not the best place to start from, I think I can still have a good race. We just need to work a bit tonight and tomorrow morning. In FP4 I tried a few things with the bike and some different tyre options, and that has allowed me to feel prepared and ready for the race.”

Livio Suppo - Team Manager:

“The first qualifying of the season didn’t bring the results we wanted, but it clearly showed that the performance is there and that’s the most important thing. The gap between the riders nowadays is virtually nothing, and we are only a couple of tenths off the front row. We know our riders are strong and so are our bikes, so let’s see what we can do in the race tomorrow – we feel positive about it!”

GRAND PRIX OF QATAR QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION:

1 Jorge MARTIN Pramac Racing Q2 1'53.011
2 Enea BASTIANINI Gresini Racing MotoGP Q2 1'53.158 0.147 0.147
3 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Q2 1'53.283 0.272 0.125
4 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team Q2 1'53.298 0.287 0.015
5 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Q2 1'53.319 0.308 0.021
6 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team Q2 1'53.346 0.335 0.027
7 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Q2 1'53.350 0.339 0.004
8 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR SUZUKI Q2 1'53.407 0.396 0.057
9 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team Q2 1'53.411 0.400 0.004
10 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Q2 1'53.481 0.470 0.070
11 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Q2 1'53.635 0.624 0.154
12 Franco MORBIDELLI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Q2 1'53.982 0.971 0.347
13 Johann ZARCO Pramac Racing Q1 1'53.780
14 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing Q1 1'53.819
15 Marco BEZZECCHI Mooney VR46 Racing Team Q1 1'53.915
16 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU HONDA Q1 1'54.038
17 Luca MARINI Mooney VR46 Racing Team Q1 1'54.222
18 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL HONDA Q1 1'54.224
19 Maverick VIÑALES Aprilia Racing APRILIA Q1 1'54.228
20 Andrea DOVIZIOSO WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Q1 1'54.244
21 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Gresini Racing MotoGP Q1 1'54.276
22 Remy GARDNER Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Q1 1'54.378
23 Raul FERNANDEZ Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Q1 1'54.889
24 Darryn BINDER WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Q1 1'56.011


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

For more stories about Joan Mir, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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