Team Suzuki Press Office – June 19.
Grid positions for German GP:
Alex Rins: 11th – 1’20.949 (+ 0.713)
Joan Mir: 17th – 1’21.014 (Q1)
Team Suzuki Ecstar continued with mixed fortunes for their two riders during Saturday at the German Grand Prix in Sachsenring.
In FP3 the GSX-RR pair both worked extremely hard to secure a place in Q2 among the highly competitive field. However, they were unable to capture the necessary feeling.
Alex Rins also had a technical issue. Joan Mir closed the session 11th and Rins was 14th, although neither were far off the pace – half a second from the top spot.
The temperatures continued to rise rapidly during the afternoon, making the usual preparation and set-up work in FP4 trickier. The riders tried different tyre options and tried to understand the possible race conditions for Sunday’s GP. Mir closed in ninth, and Rins 15th.
A very intense Q1 session saw both riders again giving all to try and bring their lap times down. They had very strong pace but maintaining positions in the Top 2 was challenging: Rins pushed through and held onto a great first place, giving himself passage to Q2. Meanwhile Mir could only manage seventh after he had a lap time cancelled, which puts him 17th on the grid.
The final qualifying session of the day was a hectic affair with several crashes and riders cruising off line, but Rins kept his head down and achieved 11th on the grid.
“The issue I had in FP3 was with the engine, so I went straight to the box and got the second bike so I didn’t lose much time. But after that I made a few mistakes, I didn’t really get a quick lap and it meant I couldn’t get into Q2 directly. But then in Q1 I felt great and I was able to push well to make it into the Top 2 and get through to final qualifying. But I’m a bit disappointed and angry with Q2 because some riders were going very slowly, almost stopping on the track and this is something we always speak about in the Safety Commission. We are MotoGP riders and we have to set the example for the younger riders, yet I found a big group of riders going slowly during the final laps of Q2. Anyway, I’ll start 11th on the grid and even if it won’t be easy to overtake, I want to work hard and get the best result possible despite my wrist injury.”
“Today has been a day to forget, but also a day to learn. We made a step compared to yesterday, but my feeling with the bike isn’t right – I’m not able to push how I want or stop the bike well and I’m really losing a lot in the last sector. It’s a shame because I’m not riding badly, but with this lack of feeling it’s making everything a struggle, so we need to fix a few things. In Q1 it was quite a mess, a lot of yellow flags and distractions, so it was very tough to set a quick time. We’ll keep trying and hope to fix it tomorrow morning, I will stay motivated and positive because we’re not far off; we’re just missing something. I trust in myself and I know our bike has more potential. I’ll give it 100%.”
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Today we tried to build on the positions of yesterday, especially for Joan. But in FP3 we had a few issues and unfortunately we weren’t able to get both riders straight to Q2. In Q1 they tried hard and Alex was able to do it, but Joan had a bit of bad luck with his best lap cancelled and he ended up 17th. When we got to final qualifying Alex was very keen to get a top grid position but the circumstances meant he ended up 11th. These results don’t reflect our true form, we have confidence in our race pace, so in Warm-Up tomorrow morning we’ll try to find something extra.”
LIQUI MOLY MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX DEUTSCHLAND – Qualifying Classification:
1. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 01:20.236
2. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:20.247 +0.011
3. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:20.447 +0.211
4. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:20.508 +0.272
5. M. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 01:20.567 +0.331
6. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:20.589 +0.353
7. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 01:20.617 +0.381
8. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 01:20.659 +0.423
9. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:20.810 +0.574
10. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:20.811 +0.575
11. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:20.949 +0.713
12. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:21.135 +0.899
13. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:20.736 – Q1
14. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia – 01:20.864 – Q1
15. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama – 01:20.953 – Q1
16. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:20.972 – Q1
17. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:21.014 – Q1
18. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:21.091 – Q1
19. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:21.137 – Q1
20. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:21.154 – Q1
21. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:21.165 – Q1
22. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:21.411 – Q1