Team Suzuki Press Office – October 9.
Combined practice times:
Joan Mir: 9th – 1’35.385 (+ 1.052)
Alex Rins: 14th – 1’35.838 (+ 1.482)
As predicted, the opening day of action at Le Mans circuit in France was dominated by damp and chilly weather, and for Team Suzuki Ecstar caution was the order of the day.
With conditions remaining unpredictable for the rest of the race weekend, Joan Mir and Alex Rins wasted no time in getting out on track in FP1. The pair showed promising signs of feeling comfortable on the French track, despite having to venture out on wet tyres and take a steady approach.
Rins spent the majority of FP1 in the Top 3 positions, putting in runs of strong laps and getting to grips with the tight and twisty track. He closed the morning’s action in 12th place. Meanwhile, Mir finished just behind his team-mate in 13th.
The FP2 session was expected to see vast improvements in lap times but a short shower before the green light presented the riders with a challenging afternoon and high attrition. Rins and Mir were once again quick to head out on track, taking time to build up pace and work on settings. Mir ended the day ninth on combined. While Rins was 14th on combined.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“It was a valuable day and we actually didn’t mind the rain this morning because it gave us a chance to work on wet settings. Also Joan was able to gain some more experience in these conditions, which he hasn’t faced often on a MotoGP bike so far, so that was good. The afternoon was quite difficult because of the mixed wet and dry track but both riders found good feelings with the bike so we’re looking forward to tomorrow, which we hope will be dry. We’ll be aiming to do well in FP3 and take that through to qualifying.”
“Today was quite difficult with these hard conditions for everyone, but I’m fairly satisfied with how the day went, especially in the morning where I felt good. The track was mixed wet and dry so it was tricky to work on settings because it was constantly changing. At the moment I’m just trying to find my optimum feeling but tomorrow I want to focus my work on the front end of the bike, take another step forward, and hope to improve my lap times ahead of qualifying.”
“Today wasn’t easy because of the weather, but I’m happy because in both sessions I was around the top positions. When the track was fully wet in FP1 I was pretty strong. I lost one quick lap at the end of FP2 because of a yellow flag, but overall I feel really good about how everything went, especially in these tough conditions which are so varied. I’m really keen to get out there tomorrow when it should be drier! I feel confident.”
SHARK HELMETS GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE – Friday Combined Times:
1. J. MILLER Ducati 01:34.356 FP2
2. M. VIÑALES Yamaha 01:34.500 FP2
3. T. NAKAGAMI Honda 01:34.857 FP2
4. D. PETRUCCI Ducati 01:35.054 FP2
5. C. CRUTCHLOW Honda 01:35.141 FP2
6. A. MARQUEZ Honda 01:35.337 FP2
7. F. MORBIDELLI Yamaha 01:35.369 FP2
8. P. ESPARGARO KTM 01:35.374 FP2
9. J. MIR Suzuki 01:35.385 FP2
10. J. ZARCO Ducati 01:35.408 FP2
11. F. QUARTARARO Yamaha 01:35.489 FP2
12. V. ROSSI Yamaha 01:35.767 FP2
13. M. OLIVEIRA KTM 01:35.837 FP2
14. A. RINS Suzuki 01:35.838 FP2
15. F. BAGNAIA Ducati 01:36.012 FP2
16. I. LECUONA KTM 1’36.190 FP2
17. S. BRADL Honda 1’36.478 FP2
18. B. SMITH Aprilia 1’36.982 FP2
19. A. DOVIZIOSO Ducati 1’38.726 FP2
20. A. ESPARGARO Aprilia 1’39.361 FP2
21. Tito RABAT Ducati 1’40.165 FP2
22. Brad BINDER KTM 1’40.425 FP2