Team Suzuki Press Office – September 11.
Grid positions for Aragon GP:
Joan Mir: 7th – 1’47.162 (+ 0.840)
Alex Rins: 20th – 1’47.790 (Q1)
Improvements were needed from the get-go at Motorland Aragón circuit on Saturday morning as perfect conditions greeted the riders. Joan Mir was quick to bring his lap time down and he completed FP3 in a great third place. But securing direct passage to Q2 was a tricky task as the top 17 riders were covered by just eight tenths of a second and Alex Rins missed out as he took 14th.
As predicted, the air and track temperatures rocketed for the afternoon’s FP4 session. This made it tough to go fast but provided a good opportunity for the riders to better understand how the track may feel tomorrow afternoon. Mir closed this session ninth, and Rins 18th.
Rins struggled to find his form in Q1 as the times tumbled and he lost a couple laps. Although he got up to third at one point during the 15-minute session he finished up in 10th, which will put him 20th on the grid for tomorrow’s race. Rins still has confidence for a good result, especially as he won here last year.
In Q2 Mir fought hard to gain a favourable grid spot for the Aragon GP and he managed fourth during his first exit but found himself in seventh at the chequered flag. He feels more comfortable with his GSX-RR compared with yesterday and is ready to do battle tomorrow.
“I’m not too disappointed, in fact I’m quite happy, because in the end seventh position as a starting spot isn’t that bad. I did struggle a bit with the feeling during qualifying, especially with the very high temperatures, but overall my day was much better than yesterday and we made a huge step. Of course, there are still areas that we need to improve on, braking is one of those areas. But in general everything felt much better with the bike and I feel pretty good about the race, even though I’m sure it will be a big battle with many fast riders.”
“Starting from 20th position, especially at this track where I’m normally fast and where I’m very motivated, is quite a difficult thing. I just couldn’t get comfortable – I was making a lot of mistakes throughout the lap and I struggled with getting the bike stopped. Everything combined and it meant it was hard to set a clean fast lap. I’m sure tomorrow’s race will be very exciting with many fast riders, so it will be a fun one and I want to get into the group.”
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Today was a half and half day; not all bad but not all good either. Joan made a step and was able to improve, he got into Q2 and that was important. He missed out on a really strong grid spot, but seventh isn’t too bad and we’re happy with Joan’s pace and settings. Meanwhile, Alex is still missing something and his grid position means that he will have to work extremely hard to recover. But as always we will give everything to get our riders into the mix and finishing tomorrow with good results.”
GRAN PREMIO TISSOT DE ARAGÓN – Qualifying Classification:
1. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:46.322
2. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:46.688 – +0.366
3. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:46.719 – +0.397
4. M. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 01:46.736 – +0.414
5. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 01:46.878 – +0.556
6. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:46.883 – +0.561
7. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:47.162 – +0.840
8. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 01:47.194 – +0.872
9. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama – 01:47.278 – +0.956
10. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 01:47.288 – +0.966
11. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:47.366 – +1.044
12. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:47.932 – +1.610
13. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:47.508 – Q1
14. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:47.542 – Q1
15. C. CRUTCHLOW – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:47.613 – Q1
16. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:47.708 – Q1
17. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia – 01:47.741 – Q1
18. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:47.750 – Q1
19. M. VIÑALES – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:47.764 – Q1
20. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:47.790 – Q1
21. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:47.863 – Q1
22. J. DIXON – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:48.146 – Q1