RINS AND MIR TOP 10 FOR SCORCHING MOTOGP SEASON START

MGP-1-Alex Rins-31

Team Suzuki Press Office – March 27.

Grid positions for Qatar GP:

Alex Rins: 9th – 1’53.490
Joan Mir: 10th – 1’53.682

The first qualifying day of the season saw soaring temperatures during the day, making for a tough FP3. These conditions made time improvements impossible, with the entire field running around two seconds off their previous best times. Nevertheless, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders worked to improve their bike settings in order to be prepared for the night sessions.

In FP4, with the temperatures finally beginning to drop, the riders were able to turn their focus towards qualifying, with Joan Mir finishing this session sixth, and Alex Rins 10th.

An excellent effort from Mir in Q1 saw him drop his times and push for passage into Q2; he managed to achieve this crucial goal.

The pace was extremely hot in final qualifying with 11 riders covered by 1 second. Rins and Mir managed to set their best laps of the weekend so far and secure grid positions in the Top 10, with Rins starting ninth and Mir starting 10th.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“As we expected, the conditions in FP3 were very difficult, so nobody improved. This meant that Joan had to come through Q1, but he and his crew did a very good job and it allowed him to go into Q2. Alex and Joan ended up getting ninth and 10th on the grid, which of course isn’t optimum, but we know we can have a good race because we have done it many times before. We’ll work tonight to ensure we can prepare for the race in the best way.”

Alex Rins:

“Today was a good day, and in FP4 I was able to do a good pace even with a lot of laps on the tyre. I’m feeling quite happy with the first qualifying of the season, because I improved my lap time compared with FP3. I gave my all and that was important, so I’ll keep pushing for tomorrow and let’s see what we can do!”

Joan Mir:

“We improved a little bit today in terms of race pace, but I’m not happy with how my qualifying went. I tried my best, but the more I pushed the worse I felt, so we still need to improve more. We’re not too far off, but we’re missing a few tenths. Anyway, I feel confident that tomorrow I can have a good race, especially as we’ve started in lower positions in the past and done well. I was a bit disappointed after qualifying, but I’m really looking forward to racing now.”

BARWA GRAND PRIX OF QATAR – Qualifying Classification:

1. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:52.772
2. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:53.038 – +0.266
3. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:53.088 – +0.316
4. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:53.114 – +0.342
5. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:53.215 – +0.443
6. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 01:53.286 – +0.514
7. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:53.313 – +0.541
8. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:53.315 – +0.543
9. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:53.490 – +0.718
10. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:53.682 – +0.910
11. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:53.721 – +0.949
12. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 01:53.930 – +1.158
13. E. BASTIANINI – Esponsorama Racing – 01:53.733 – Q1
14. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 01:53.840 – Q1
15. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:53.915 – Q1
16. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:53.958 – Q1
17. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – 01:53.995 – Q1
18. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Esponsorama – 01:54.122 – Q1
19. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:54.240 – Q1
20. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:54.443 – Q1
21. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:54.627 – Q1
22. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:55.183 – Q1

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