Race action was even hotter at MotoGP Doha Losail Circuit

MGP-2-Joan Mir-Alex Rins-R1

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 4.

TISSOT GRAND PRIX OF DOHA Race Classification:

Alex Rins: 4th (+ 2.088)
Joan Mir: 7th (+ 4.868)

The Losail Circuit in Qatar hosted the second Grand Prix in as many weeks, and this time out the action was even hotter than before with plenty of battles, and a determined display from both Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir both got off to strong starts, slotting their GSX-RRs into fifth and sixth on the first corners. By the third lap of the race, Rins had set the fastest lap of the race and shortly after he moved into third place. Just one lap later he was up into second and achieving another fast lap. Meanwhile, Mir was holding onto a strong sixth place.

Despite pushing for the lead, Rins found himself losing out down the straight against the Ducati riders, but he used his cornering ability to fight back around the rest of the lap.
On the 12th lap of the race Rins made a big save at Turn 9, but this didn’t halt his progress and he remained in podium contention.

On Lap 13 Mir made a move on Jack Miller for fifth place at Turn 10, but the Australian passed him again after making contact in the last corner, which eventually pushed Mir back to ninth. The Mallorcan recovered well from this incident to take a useful seventh place at the chequered flag.

As the laps ticked down, Rins realised that he needed to conserve his tyres to achieve the best position possible; he kept cool to achieve a great fourth place – equaling his best Qatar result in his 65th MotoGP™ race.

Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader and Team Director:

“This second race here in Qatar was obviously not the best for us. Our riders started well but they had to manage the pace in the second half of the race. We knew that Qatar is a difficult circuit for us, and we knew the Ducatis would be strong in a straight line. But while we’ve been here we’ve gathered a lot of useful data which will help us in the future races. We’re feeling positive going into Portugal and I know our riders can do well there.”

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“It was a very tough race for us, and I’m sorry for our riders that we couldn’t do better in terms of performance. Our bike isn’t very well suited to this track but I want to thank both Alex and Joan for doing the best job possible in the circumstances. Joan was unlucky today because he could have finished higher, so we will look into this result. Alex managed fourth place, which was good. Now we’re heading to the European tracks and we’ll work hard to optimise our performance in the coming races.”

Alex Rins:

“My race was quite good, I was able to do a nice job and I managed the tyres well. At one point I realised I couldn’t make a break away at the front so I concentrated on conserving the tyres and watching how the competitors were riding. It was a tough race and this is the best result I could get today, but I’m satisfied with fourth place, it’s my equal best finish at Qatar. Now we’re focused on Portimão in a couple of weeks’ time; it’s a circuit I really like!”

Joan Mir:

“It’s very hard to know what to say about this race. Despite starting ninth on the grid I got a good start and I was feeling pretty good in sixth place even though this track isn’t the best for our bike. I started to make progress but I made a tough pass on Jack Miller, which I immediately apologised for. After that he decided to come back at me on the straight with a hard move that I don’t agree with. Anyway, I was able to get seventh place and I’m really looking forward to the next races.”

TISSOT GRAND PRIX OF DOHA – Race Classification:

1. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 42:23.997
2. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – +01.457
3. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – +01.500
4. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +02.088
5. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – +02.110
6. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – +02.642
7. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +04.868
8. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +04.979
9. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – +05.365
10. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +05.382
11. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama – +05.550
12. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +05.787
13. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – +06.063
14. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – +06.453
15. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +08.928
16. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +14.246
17. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – +16.241
18. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia – +16.472
19. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – +16.779
20. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +38.775
Not Classified:
I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 23:16.255 – 13 laps
A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 23:15.262 – 13 laps

MotoGP World Standings:

1 Johann ZARCO Ducati FRA 40
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha FRA 36
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 36
4 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati ITA 26
5 Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 23
6 Joan MIR Suzuki SPA 22

7 Jorge MARTIN Ducati SPA 17
8 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 15
9 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 14
10 Pol ESPARGARO Honda SPA 11
11 Enea BASTIANINI Ducati ITA 11
13 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 7
14 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 4
15 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha ITA 4
17 Luca MARINI Ducati ITA
19 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN
20 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia ITA

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