Team Suzuki Press Office – November.
Alex Rins: 7th – 1:59.090
Joan Mir: 13th – 1:59.374
• Alex Rins perseveres for third row start tomorrow.
• Joan Mir unlucky to be knocked out of Q2 graduation.
• Team prepare for unpredictable Malaysian Grand Prix.
Saturday morning’s FP3 session was dry and warm, meaning the riders had the opportunity to improve their positions. Joan Mir went 2nd with around 10 minutes to go, but patchy rain moving in made it tricky to keep up a quick pace. Rins and Mir therefore finished 9th and 11th respectively.
FP4 saw slightly mixed conditions as drizzle set in, but Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders still found the session useful to prepare for qualifying. Mir finished in 7th, while Alex Rins was 11th.
When the afternoon’s Q1 rolled around, Mir took to the track in determined fashion. The rookie rode impressively, constantly placing himself at the top of the time sheets and defending well. However, with just moments left on the clock he was bumped down the order by Petrucci and then Crutchlow, with no time left to try for another quick lap, Joan will have to start from 13th on the grid tomorrow.
Q2 was busy and hectic for the twelve riders participating, all hoping to string together a good run on the long track in the 15-minute session. A lot of very hot laps began coming in, but Rins was prepared for a final push and he claimed 7th place; a third-row start for tomorrow’s 20-lap race.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“In the end, Alex managed to qualifying 7th, which isn’t bad, and he has good pace. We can fight with the top guys tomorrow, let’s wait and see the situation. Joan was really unlucky to miss out on final qualifying by such a tiny amount, he deserved to be in Q2. Starting from 13th will be harder, but he also has good pace. We’re looking forward to tomorrow, trying our best and see how it will go.”
“I was able to do a fast lap in qualifying and get a better position than in recent races, especially doing laps alone. But more than having one-lap pace, my race pace is very strong. In Warm-Up tomorrow morning we’ll check the tyre options again and see what’s best for the race. I really hope to do well tomorrow, especially after a great race last year. Our setup is good in both wet and dry conditions.”
“I can’t really complain about missing out on Q2, because if you are going to graduate from Q1 then you simply have to set a faster lap time. When I put the soft tyre in, unfortunately I couldn’t find the same feeling as before and I couldn’t set a fast ‘final flying’ lap. Anyway, my pace is great and with a better qualifying I’m sure I could fight with the top riders. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
GP of Malaysia – Qualifying Classification:
1. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’58.303
2. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’58.406 0.103 / 0.103
3. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’58.432 0.129 / 0.026
4. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’58.725 0.422 / 0.293
5. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’58.951 0.648 / 0.226
6. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’59.000 0.697 / 0.049
7. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’59.090 0.787 / 0.090
8. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 1’59.097 0.794 / 0.007
9. Johann ZARCO LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’59.139 0.836 / 0.042
10. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’59.173 0.870 / 0.034
11. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’59.178 0.875 / 0.005
12. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1’59.640 1.337 / 0.462
13. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’59.374 Q1
14. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’59.435 Q1
15. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’59.812 Q1
16. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 2’00.072 Q1
17. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 2’00.205 Q1
18. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 2’00.478 Q1
19. Mika KALLIO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 2’00.644 Q1
20. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 2’01.045 Q1