MotoGP Suzuki Joan Mir rockets to top spot at Spielberg

MGP-6-Joan Mir-30

Team Suzuki Press Office – August 22.

Qualifying positions for Styrian GP:

Joan Mir: 4th – 1’23.678 (+ 0.098)
Alex Rins: 7th – 1’23.782 (+ 0.202)

Saturday morning in Spielberg highlighted Team Suzuki Ecstar’s promising pace once again as Joan Mir rocketed to the top spot in FP3 after spending much of the session on used tyres. Alex Rins worked hard and managed to confirm his place in Q2 after taking ninth place with a decent lap time and consistency. The pair also took the top two places in Sector 3, proving once again the GSX-RR’s performance in the second part of the lap.

Mir and Rins carried this impressive form into the afternoon’s FP4 where they finished second and fourth respectively in what was an extremely tight session with the first 18 riders covered by less than a second.

The riders entered the close and unpredictable Q2 with confidence and knowledge of their ability to set laps in the 1’23 bracket. In the fast-paced final 10 minutes the pair pushed hard to secure good grid spots: Mir managed fourth place and Rins took seventh – just +0.098 and +0.202 from pole.

However, with a pitlane start penalty handed to Johann Zarco, Mir and Rins will actually start the Styrian Grand Prix from the front and second rows with third and sixth.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager:

“It was a good and positive day and we worked well. Joan was leading in FP3 this morning and he kept that good speed into FP4 and qualifying, and he will start on the front row because of Zarco’s penalty. Alex also has really good pace and he feels happy with the bike, he’s on the second row. So we’re ready to start and ready to challenge.”

Joan Mir:

“Over this weekend so far we’ve managed to improve everything a little bit compared with last weekend. It’s really important at this track to start on the front two rows, so I’m pleased that I managed that, especially as my time was so close to the top. I feel great and I know I have the pace to fight at the front, so let’s see how tomorrow goes.”

Alex Rins:

“It’s strange because when the margins are so small you can easily end up further down the grid than you hoped! I was only two tenths of a second off but I finished seventh. I will actually go up one row on the grid and start sixth because of Zarco’s penalty. My shoulder is still painful but I have good rhythm and consistency for tomorrow, there are some other quick riders so it will be a fight. Tomorrow morning I will decide on the tyre choice and I’m ready to give my all.”

BMW M GRAND PRIX OF STYRIA – Qualifying Classification:

1. P. ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:23.580
2. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:23.602 – +0.022
3. J. ZARCO – Esponsorama Racing – 01:23.632 – +0.052
4. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:23.678 – +0.098
5. J. MILLER – Pramac Racing – 01:23.700 – +0.120
6. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:23.778 – +0.198
7. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:23.782 – +0.202
8. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 01:23.797 – +0.217
9. A. DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 01:23.849 – +0.269
10. F. QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:23.866 – +0.286
11. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:24.021 – +0.441
12. D. PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – 01:24.174 – +0.594
13. I. LECUONA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 01:23.928 – Q1
14. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:23.932 – Q1
15. V. ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:24.127 – Q1
16. M. PIRRO – Pramac Racing – 01:24.273 – Q1
17. A. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 01:24.370 – Q1
18. C. CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:24.401 – Q1
19. B. SMITH – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:24.416 – Q1
20. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:24.429 – Q1
21. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – 01:24.667 – Q1
22. T. RABAT – Esponsorama Racing – 01:24.916 – Q1

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