Team Suzuki Press Office – October 1.
Alex Rins: 9th – 2’04.802 (+ 0.638)
Joan Mir: 13th – 2’05.094 (+ 0.930)
Team Suzuki Ecstar and their riders, Alex Rins and Joan Mir, are pleased to make a return to the USA and the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) after not visiting since 2019, when Rins won a spectacular GP race.
Friday morning’s FP1 session saw the GSX-RR duo each unveil special helmet designs for the Americas GP, and Mir also debuted a new look for his number 36 inspired by Suzuki legend Kevin Schwantz.
However, they couldn’t show off their customisations in the best light, as COTA remained rather damp following prolonged heavy rain around Austin in the hours before track action; full wet tyres were the only option as Mir and Rins headed out. Mixed grip levels made for a tricky session, but after gradually building feel they had the Top 10 in their sights. Rins finished FP1 in seventh, and Mir in 12th.
FP2 was a much drier affair and the riders could finally try slicks on the Texan track for the first time. With more rain forecast tomorrow, getting a good early lap in became more important than usual. Several crashes brought out yellow flags, making it hard to get into a rhythm, and the extremely bumpy surface was constantly unsettling the bikes. Rins and Mir pushed on to try and set quick laps, switching to softer tyre options, although they were both firmly in the Top 10 with two minutes left on the clock and finished up in ninth and 13th respectively.
“I really like this circuit but I found it a lot more demanding than in the past, it’s super bumpy and we’re all fighting with our bikes to stay on the right line and not get too out of shape. But overall it’s been a good day, trying both wet and dry conditions. It’s hard to know what the weather will be like tomorrow, but it looks like it will be wet in the morning so I should go directly to Q2. That’s good news, obviously, but we still need to work on a few things.”
“It’s a shame that I missed out on the Top 10 today, because tomorrow morning could be wet, but today was more difficult than I expected. My first priority is to get the bike how we want it. I’m searching for more stability, especially in the first sectors of the lap; the track is really tricky. It doesn’t really make a difference to me if tomorrow is wet or dry, the main thing is to improve my feeling because it’s very difficult with these bad bumps on the track, it unsettles the bike.”
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“This morning started with wet conditions and it only began to dry out right at the end of FP1. But, fortunately, this afternoon we were able to run with dry settings, which was important. Our riders are struggling a bit with set-up at the moment but it’s just the first day so we’re not worried, and we’re not far from the top in terms of lap times. I hope tomorrow the weather will be good and we’ll have the time to work on finding the best settings and better feel.”
RED BULL GRAND PRIX OF THE AMERICAS – Combined Classification after DAY1:
1. M. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 02:04.164
2. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 02:04.179 – +0.015
3. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 02:04.366 – +0.202
4. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 02:04.552 – +0.388
5. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 02:04.612 – +0.448
6. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 02:04.663 -+0.499
7. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 02:04.677 – +0.513
8. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 02:04.723 – +0.559
9. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 02:04.802 – +0.638
10. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama – 02:04.836 – +0.672
11. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 02:04.852 – +0.688
12. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia – 02:04.933 – +0.769
13. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 02:05.094 – +0.930
14. A. DOVIZIOSO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 02:05.137 – +0.973
15. F. MORBIDELLI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 02:05.296 – +1.132
16. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 02:05.614 – +1.450
17. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 02:05.631 – +1.467
18. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 02:05.682 – +1.518
19. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 02:06.209 – +2.045
20. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 02:06.235 – +2.071
21. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 02:06.257 – +2.093