MGP-9-Alex Rins-8

Team Suzuki Press Office – June 25.

Dutch GP Day 1:

Alex Rins: 5th – 1’33.501 (+ 0.429)
Joan Mir: 7th – 1’33.701 (+ 0.460)

Just a week after the German Grand Prix, Team Suzuki Ecstar and the MotoGP™ field were back on track to begin the famously unpredictable yet classic Assen race.

Friday morning’s FP1 was warm and dry, offering Alex Rins and Joan Mir the chance re-familiarise themselves with the difficult Dutch track and to get the feel of the resurfacing carried out since they last rode here. Mir took a steady approach and closed the session in 13th. Meanwhile, Rins, who has previously had great results in Assen, got to grips early on and went third, holding onto this position until the chequered flag.

FP2 started under cloudy skies and rain spots, and despite everyone being keen to set quick times ahead of tomorrow’s FP3 and qualifying sessions, heavier rain put paid to that. The clock kept ticking but the track was empty as the riders waited to see how it played out. With 12 minutes left to go, Rins became the first rider to head out on wet tyres, shortly followed by Mir. The pair managed to get useful information despite times being around 12 seconds slower than on a dry track. Crucially, both kept themselves in the Top 10 with fifth and seventh respectively, which could be very important if FP3 is also wet. They were less than half a second from the top.

Alex Rins:

“Overall I’m feeling good, especially as I’m inside the Top 10 already. We expected that it might rain in the afternoon so in the morning I used the soft tyre to help me set a strong time that would keep me in the Top 10. The bike is feeling good, but I’m looking forward to doing some more laps tomorrow as a sort of race simulation to check the tyre longevity and to help me make my choice for the race. The new tarmac has an unbelievable amount of grip, which is fantastic, so that’s helpful with this bad forecast we have. I’m still feeling some pain in my arm, because this is a physical track, but everything’s OK.”

Joan Mir:

“It’s been a positive day, I expected and hoped to feel competitive from the beginning and this was our goal for today, and even if we don’t have the perfect settings yet I was still able to be quite strong and I feel that I have a good base in the wet and the dry. The new surface is pretty grippy so it feels nice. Now we need to work on the small details just to get the bike on point, because it’s not quite there yet especially in terms of stability. But we’ll work tomorrow and let’s see what the conditions are like, it will be more important than usual to be up the front because the conditions can change quickly and impact the times.”

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“It seems like this track won’t be so bad for us, but we do have typical Assen weather! This means we haven’t had much time to work on settings and establishing our capabilities in the dry, but fortunately both our riders are in the Top 10 already which is good ahead of tomorrow. We’ll stay focused and concentrated and see what’s possible during qualifying.”

MOTUL TT ASSEN – Combined Classification after DAY1:

1. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:33.072
2. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 01:33.183 +0.111
3. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:33.400 +0.159
4. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:33.491 +0.250
5. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:33.501 +0.429
6. M. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 01:33.560 +0.319
7. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:33.701 +0.460
8. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 01:33.708 +0.467
9. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:33.939 +0.867
10. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:33.993 +0.921
11. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:34.004 +0.932
12. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:34.066 +0.825
13. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:34.098 +1.026
14. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:34.265 +1.193
15. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 01:34.339 +1.098
16. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:34.358 +1.117
17. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:34.431 +1.359
18. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:34.491 +1.419
19. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:34.510 +1.438
20. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama – 01:34.658 +1.417
21. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia – 01:35.506 +2.434
22. G. GERLOFF – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:35.744 +2.503

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