Team Suzuki Press Office – March 19.
Alex Rins: 8th – 1’31.582 (+ 0.515)
Joan Mir: 18th – 1’31.875 (Q1)
The second day of action at the Pertamina Mandalika circuit proved challenging for Team Suzuki Ecstar as Alex Rins and Joan Mir struggled to find feeling and pace on the new track.
FP3 started out wet as monsoon-like rain swept over the island of Lombok, but it dried to just a few damp patches later in the session. However, the pace was low for everyone, with riders unwilling to take risks in the tricky conditions, and nobody improved.
Just seven minutes into the afternoon’s FP4 session, Rins suffered a mechanical issue which caused his number one bike to drop oil and catch fire. Rins was quick to jump off his GSX-RR and thankfully no harm was done to him. The team were quick to discover the fault, which was not an engine failure but a small issue with the oil line. When the session restarted following a red flag and clean up, Rins was keen to get going again and he put in some good laps on his second bike. Meanwhile, Mir was still unable to find a good feeling.
Q1 was an incredibly tense session with several top riders battling it out for the top two spots, and quite a few crashes in the final moments. Mir, fighting to make his way to final qualifying, lost his first flying lap. Then, just as he was getting up to speed after his second exit, he suffered a minor crash. The Mallorcan will start 18th on the grid tomorrow.
Rins’ Q2 session was not without drama either when he lost a lap due to a yellow flag, and also had a run-off. Despite showing some good early pace, he slipped down the order and will start the Indonesian GP from eighth.
“The qualifying day wasn’t easy. My physical condition has improved since yesterday, I have more strength and I feel better but my stomach isn’t very good today. Despite everything, we’re in eighth position, which isn’t too bad, but the tyre choice will be difficult tomorrow and this is a very hard track for overtaking. We lost time in FP4 today when I had a bike issue, which the team have already identified. It was a scary moment and I thought about the safety of everyone, and also my own safety, I took the bike to the side of the track and jumped off rapidly. In the end everything was fine and I’m very glad.”
“It was a really hard day for us, we weren’t able to find good settings and I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike or with the new tyres. I was riding on the limit, having a lot of moments, and it wasn’t paying off in the times. This is not how I want to ride; we’re struggling at the moment, but we’ll continue to try everything to improve. We are very determined to fix the issues, so we’ll work tonight, and I have every confidence in my team because I know they’ll do everything they can to help me. We need to improve, because otherwise it will be very tough to get through tomorrow’s race.”
Livio Suppo – Team Manager:
“It hasn’t been the best day, and in fact it’s been a difficult weekend so far. Joan has struggled to find the right feeling, especially with the rear. Alex was actually feeling better with the bike today but he had the mechanical problem in FP4 which meant he lost time. The most important thing is that Alex is fine as well as Johann Zarco who crashed in the oil stream left by the GSX-RR. The issue with the oil line was just one of those things, it wasn’t a human mistake, and our engine is still intact. Alex was pushing in the final minutes of qualifying, and he was on a good lap when he lost the front and had to run off. Anyway, we’re trying to prepare for the race in the best way, Alex feels fairly confident with his pace and we’re working hard to find out how to improve Joan’s feeling.”
GRAND PRIX OF INDONESIA QUALIFYING CLASSIFICATION:
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’31.067
2 Jorge MARTIN Pramac Racing 1’31.280 0.213 0.213
3 Johann ZARCO Pramac Racing 1’31.378 0.311 0.098
4 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.433 0.366 0.055
5 Enea BASTIANINI Gresini Racing MotoGP 1’31.504 0.437 0.071
6 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team 1’31.507 0.440 0.003
7 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’31.566 0.499 0.059
8 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’31.582 0.515 0.016
9 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team 1’31.714 0.647 0.132
10 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing 1’31.723 0.656 0.009
11 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Gresini Racing MotoGP Q1
12 Franco MORBIDELLI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Q1
13 Luca MARINI Mooney VR46 Racing Team Q1
14 Marco BEZZECCHI Mooney VR46 Racing Team Q1
15 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Q1
16 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team Q1
17 Andrea DOVIZIOSO WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Q1
18 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Q1
19 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda Castrol Q1
20 Maverick VIÑALES Aprilia Racing Q1
21 Raul FERNANDEZ Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Q1
22 Remy GARDNER Tech3 KTM Factory Racing Q1
23 Darryn BINDER WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team Q1
24 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU Q1