Disaster struck Suzuki as Final Japanese Grand Prix ended in disappointment

MGP-16-Alex Rins-R2

Team Suzuki Press Office – September 25

Alex Rins: DNF
Takuya Tsuda: DNF

Team Suzuki Ecstar’s final Japanese Grand Prix ended in disappointment as disaster struck both GSX-RRs, resulting in two non-finishes for the luckless Alex Rins and Takuya Tsuda.

MotoGP fans filled Motegi in their masses, offering a welcoming and truly passionate atmosphere to the assembled riders.

The race was always going to be an uphill battle for Rins, who started 18th on the grid after a challenging qualifying session. However, there were positive signs at the start of the race, with Rins coming through to 12th and sitting in a highly competitive group of riders. But as the laps wore on he started to drop positions and struggle to regain them. He eventually pitted in on the 15th lap of the race with front end issues; these proved to have been caused by a bend in the rim under hard braking on the kerbs in the early laps, which meant a loss of pressure, eventually making the bike unrideable.

Tsuda, riding as Joan Mir’s replacement, had a somewhat more shocking end to his race after an oil leak dripped onto the exhaust of his GSX-RR, causing a fire in the bellypan on Lap 12 of the GP. Tsuda quickly pulled off the track and calmly jumped off his bike, avoiding any injury to himself or others.

Team Suzuki Ecstar will be back on track in Thailand in just five days’ time.

Alex Rins:

“It was a really bad race for us. The start actually went well and I made up quite a lot of positions, but then at Turn 3 I decided to overtake some riders on the outside, on the kerb. After that I started to lose front feeling, it seemed that the tyre was deflating little by little. I lost a lot of places and I felt I was going to crash on every corner, so I returned to the box. My crew confirmed an air leak caused by a dent in the wheel rim. I wish things had gone differently, I really wanted to reward the fans for their support.”

Takuya Tsuda:

“I had a good start but then I started to feel something strange with the engine, so I was cautious and paying attention. I felt a drop in the power, and then the fire happened and I had to stop. I actually had a very good feeling with the chassis so it’s really disappointing. Anyway, overall, I had a very good experience this weekend and I would like to thank the team for giving me this opportunity.”

Livio Suppo – Team Manager:

“Naturally, this is not how we wanted Suzuki’s home GP to go, and not how we wanted to say goodbye to all the amazing Japanese fans. Tsuda’s GSX-RR caught fire after a small leak, but luckily he is fine. Alex picked up some damage to his front wheel under hard braking on the kerbs and he had to pit in. The only positive is that we don’t have time to brood on today’s upsetting results, because we’ll move directly to Thailand and start focusing on that.”

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Despite the grid positions not being very high, we had a lot of confidence for the race. But sadly, both riders retired due to problems. I’m so sorry for the Japanese fans, we really wanted to have a good race here at home. We still have four races left, and we’ll continuing working to try and finish with some good results.”

GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN RACE RESULTS:

1 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team 42’29.174
2 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 42’32.583 3.409
3 Jorge MARTIN Prima Pramac Racing 42’33.310 4.136
4 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 42’36.958 7.784
5 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 42’37.359 8.185
6 Luca MARINI Mooney VR46 Racing Team 42’37.522 8.348
7 Maverick VIÑALES Aprilia Racing 42’39.053 9.879
8 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha 42’39.367 10.193
9 Enea BASTIANINI Gresini Racing MotoGP 42’39.492 10.318
10 Marco BEZZECCHI Mooney VR46 Racing Team 42’45.593 16.419
11 Johann ZARCO Prima Pramac Racing 42’45.760 16.586
12 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team 42’46.630 17.456
13 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL 42’47.393 18.219
14 Franco MORBIDELLI Monster Energy Yamaha 42’48.186 19.012
15 Cal CRUTCHLOW WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP 42’48.375 19.201
16 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing 42’54.647 25.473
17 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Gresini Racing MotoGP 42’56.180 27.006
18 Raul FERNANDEZ Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 42’58.548 29.374
19 Remy GARDNER Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 42’58.643 29.469
20 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 43’12.468 43.294
Not classified:
63 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team
42 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
40 Darryn BINDER WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP
85 Takuya TSUDA Team SUZUKI ECSTAR
45 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA HRC Team

RIDERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

1 Fabio QUARTARARO 219
2 Francesco BAGNAIA 201
3 Aleix ESPARGARO 194
4 Enea BASTIANINI 170
5 Jack MILLER 159
6 Brad BINDER 148
7 Johann ZARCO 138
8 Jorge MARTIN 120
9 Maverick VIÑALES 113
10 Alex RINS 108
11 Miguel OLIVEIRA 106
12 Luca MARINI 101
13 Marco BEZZECCHI 80
14 Joan MIR 77
15 Marc MARQUEZ 73
16 Pol ESPARGARO 47
17 Takaaki NAKAGAMI 46
18 Alex MARQUEZ 42
19 Franco MORBIDELLI 28
20 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO 23
21 Andrea DOVIZIOSO 15
22 Darryn BINDER 10
23 Remy GARDNER 9
24 Raul FERNANDEZ 8
25 Cal CRUTCHLOW 3
26 Stefan BRADL 2
27 Michele PIRRO 0
28 Lorenzo SAVADORI 0
29 Kazuki WATANABE 0
30 Takuya TSUDA 0
31 Tetsuta NAGASHIMA 0

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