MIXED BUT QUICK FRIDAY FOR SUZUKI IN CATALUNYA

Team Suzuki Press Office – June 14.

Alex Rins: 11th – 1:40.727 (+0.648)
Joan Mir: 19th – 1:41.070 (+ 0.991)
Sylvain Guintoli: 23rd – 1:41.987 (+ 1.908)

• Alex Rins feeling ready to attack home race.
• Joan Mir shows impressive pace despite late crash.
• Team looking ahead to fast and furious qualifying. 

The technical and classically styled Montmelò circuit near Barcelona saw an exciting opening day with hotly contested sessions and close lap times, although the dirty track surface made it tricky for everyone.

FP1 saw both Alex Rins and Joan Mir start the weekend in a positive way, with the pair feeling confident with their GSX-RRs and placing around the Top 10, with Rins in 7th and Mir in 12th as the flag came out. Both their times hovered around half a second from the top, with Rins +0.450 down, and Mir +0.663.

The afternoon’s FP2 session provided non-stop action as the entire field felt ready to improve. Rins had a run off at Turn 4 early in the session, and he was forced to drop the bike as the air fence wall approached. However, the Spaniard was able to ride his bike back to the pits and he only lost around 10 minutes. After rejoining the session, he impressively headed straight to the top of the timesheets. Before long, his team-mate, Mir, was also into the Top 5. These strong positions were held by the pair for a large part of the session. A small ‘off’ for Mir at the end of the session was without consequence and he found himself 2nd fastest of the pack in sector 1. Rins is 11th overall, and Mir 19th.

This weekend sees the racing return of Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Test Rider, Sylvain Guintoli. The experienced Frenchman will be collecting data and providing useful feedback to the team throughout the Catalan GP and also in the test on Monday.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager 
“Overall it’s been a good start to the weekend despite the fact that Alex and Joan both had a small crash. We tried a few different settings and tyres with Alex and he felt comfortable with the medium and had good pace. In the end he didn’t do a time attack and that’s why he’s not in the Top 10 today. Joan had a good session but unfortunately he crashed on his time attack lap. Sylvain is doing well and testing some things for us. We feel ready for tomorrow.”

Alex Rins
“I started on the soft tyre in FP2, and I found I was sliding a lot. I went wide and went into the gravel trap and had to drop the bike. I felt more confident with the medium tyre, it suited me well and I got into a good rhythm. My pace was quite good today, despite not doing a time attack. I think tomorrow the conditions will change, it will be hotter and perhaps the track will be a bit cleaner. I’m ready for Day 2.”

Joan Mir
“I’m happy with my pace today, I’ve been quite competitive throughout the day. When I rode with the soft rear my feeling was not the best and in the end I had a small crash, so tomorrow I’ll try it again. I feel that I can improve and I’m feeling positive that I can have a good qualifying day tomorrow. The track is quite slippery and dirty and that makes it more difficult, it feels that there is less grip than last year. But the team and bike are working well, it’s all on point.”

Sylvain Guintoli
“It’s good to be back racing! The conditions today were very slippery which was a bit unexpected. I thought it would improve this afternoon, but it didn’t really. I’m testing a slightly different chassis and a different swingarm, and also preparing for the test on Monday. Riding as a wildcard is completely different to testing, and here everybody is so fast! I want to be competitive, but I know that’s not easy. You have to switch your brain from test rider mode to racer mode, whilst still thinking about how to improve the bike.”

GP of Catalunya – Combined Classification after Day 1:

1. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’40.079 (FP2)
2. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Mission Winnow Ducati 1’40.360 0.281 / 0.281 (FP2)
3. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’40.381 0.302 / 0.021 (FP2)
4. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’40.393 0.314 / 0.012 (FP2)
5. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1’40.471 0.392 / 0.078 (FP2)
6. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’40.517 0.438 / 0.046 (FP2)
7. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’40.520 0.441 / 0.003 (FP2)
8. Danilo PETRUCCI Mission Winnow Ducati 1’40.599 0.520 / 0.079 (FP2)
9. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’40.963 0.884 / 0.015 (FP1)
10. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’40.702 0.623 / 0.103 (FP2)
11. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.727 0.648 / 0.025 (FP2) 
12. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 1’40.727 0.648 (FP2)
13. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’40.771 0.692 / 0.044 (FP2)
14. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 1’40.816 0.737 / 0.045 (FP2)
15. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’40.847 0.768 / 0.031 (FP2)
16. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.878 0.799 / 0.031 (FP2)
17. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’40.948 0.869 / 0.070 (FP2)
18. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’41.007 0.928 / 0.044 (FP2)
19. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’41.070 0.991 / 0.063 (FP2)
20. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1’41.331 1.252 / 0.261 (FP2)
21. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’41.524 1.445 / 0.193 (FP2)
22. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1’41.527 1.448 / 0.003 (FP2)
23. Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’41.987 1.908 / 0.460 (FP2)
24. Bradley SMITH Aprilia Racing Team 1’42.156 2.077 / 0.169 (FP2)

About Michael Le Pard 3504 Articles
"Mr. Totalmotorcycle". Owner and Founder of Total Motorcycle. Supporting over Motorcyclists and Motorcycling for 19 great years. Total Motorcycle is my pride and joy and being able to reach out 300 million people has been incredible but I could not have done it without the support of my visitors, readers and members, thank you so much! You are making a difference to millions of riders worldwide. Thank you.