Team Suzuki Press Office – August 21.
Combined practice times:
Joan Mir: 6th – 1’23.907 (+ 0.269)
Alex Rins: 7th – 1’24.009 (+ 0.371)
Team Suzuki Ecstar were back to work on Friday morning at the Red Bull Ring, just five days after the Austrian GP, for the last in a run of three races in a row. This weekend’s event will be known as the Styrian GP.
Both riders were very competitive last week and were running at the front of the race. Joan Mir took his debut MotoGP podium, but Alex Rins had an unfortunate crash while going for the race lead.
For this reason the riders began FP1 with a lot of positivity and used the session to regain their rhythm and make a few minor adjustments to setup, putting down respectable lap times while they were at it.
In the afternoon’s FP2 the name of the game was to secure a Top-10 position and direct passage to Q2 owing to a chance of rain on Saturday morning.
Mir was keen to improve his performance in the first two sectors of the track, something which he managed during the course of FP2, and then focused on working his way up the order to sit comfortably inside the Top-three at the end of the session, Mir is sixth on combined standings.
Rins set about building a run of consistent and quick lap times, upping the pace with every pass across the finish line. He spent a portion of the session sitting in the top spot and finished fourth in FP2 and seventh overall.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“We’ve had a positive start to the weekend, with both riders showing good pace and feeling happy with their bikes. Joan put in some very quick laps this afternoon, and he seems to have strong one-lap pace, but also he’s managing some consistent runs too. Alex tried a few things this morning and this afternoon he also had great pace over the course of many laps. Having both of them in the Top 10 could be good for tomorrow; let’s see what happens with the weather.”
“In FP2 I tried some laps with a used tyre, because the track temperature increased a lot compared to the morning. I managed to improve my lap time, and I felt great even on the used tyre. I knew I could be fast in the final two sectors on the lap, but I needed to improve my performance a little bit in the first two in order to be more competitive during the race. I’m happy with the way things are going and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
“The main focus today was to find the differences between the medium and soft compound rear tyres, so I used FP1 to try the tyre life and adjust a few things. In FP2 I started with a new tyre to see how it would feel in a sort of semi race simulation situation. Overall I’m in seventh, and I feel good about that; it’s a nice start to the weekend. My shoulder feels a bit better compared to last week, so I’m hoping for a strong qualifying.”
BMW M GRAND PRIX OF STYRIA – Combined Classification after DAY1:
1. P. ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:23.638
2. J. MILLER – Pramac Racing – 01:23.859 – +
3. A. DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 01:23.863 – +0.004
4. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 01:23.898 – +0.039
5. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:23.904 – +0.266
6. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:23.907 – +0.269
7. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:24.009 – +0.371
8. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:24.060 – +0.422
9. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:24.187 – +0.549
10. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:24.251 – +0.392
11. I. LECUONA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 01:24.301 – +0.442
12. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:24.366 – +0.728
13. V. ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:24.378 – +0.740
14. F. QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:24.381 – +0.522
15. A. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 01:24.463 – +0.825
16. M. PIRRO – Pramac Racing – 01:24.508 – +0.649
17. D. PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – 01:24.517 – +0.658
18. C. CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:24.560 – +0.922
19. B. SMITH – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:24.623 – +0.764
20. T. RABAT – Esponsorama Racing – 01:24.806 – +0.947
21. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – 01:24.914 – +1.055