Team Suzuki Press Office – April 16.
Joan Mir: 3rd – 1’40.285 (+ 0.419)
Alex Rins: 4th – 1’40.328 (+ 0.462)
The MotoGP™ World Championship got into gear on Friday for the third round of the season at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão.
A damp start to proceedings meant that FP1 had to be taken with caution as the patchy track made setting a fast time tricky. However, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders immediately felt fairly comfortable onboard their GSX-RRs and were able to get down to working on settings. Alex Rins and Joan Mir finished the session in second and 13th.
Despite a few spits of rain before the start of FP2 the session remained dry. All the riders were determined to set a quick time; it was a close and exciting session. Mir and Rins worked hard to ensure their positions inside the Top 10, consistently setting quick laps and defending their places at the sharp end of the timesheet. At the chequered flag Mir was third, and Rins fourth, standing them in good stead ahead of Saturday’s action.
This weekend Mir will be working with Suzuki stalwart Tom O’Kane as his Crew Chief. This is due to the fact his usual Crew Chief, Frankie Carchedi, is absent following a positive Covid-19 result. Despite being isolated in a hotel room, Carchedi and O’Kane are able to converse during the day, with each other and with Mir.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“Despite unstable weather in FP1 we were able to manage the session well. Last year we didn’t have good results at this track, but for now everything is working well with our bike and our settings. Joan and Alex are both already in the Top 10, in 3rd and 4th, which is a very good start. These results could be particularly important if the conditions in FP3 will be mixed or wet because we will already be in the Top 10 and Q2. Anyway, I feel confident that we can fight for the podium here.”
“I said before the start of the Grand Prix that I hadn’t managed to show my potential here last year, or the potential of the bike, but straight away today I felt good. The Suzuki works well at this track and I feel confident after today – I have the sensations that I want and need. The conditions weren’t the best today and it was quite slippery, but I think tomorrow it will improve and everybody will be faster. So today we made sure our base is good and then we just had to adjust little things. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
“Today was a good day, we tried to understand the limits of the track. This morning was tricky because of the wet patches and low grip level, but I was still able to do a good FP1 session. In FP2 everything was dry, so it was a bit easier, but the grip was still not very good. We had planned to test some different rear tyre options, but in the end it wasn’t possible because of the conditions. But the aim was to get into the Top 10 in FP2 to hopefully go through to Q2 tomorrow, and I managed to do that with 4th place, so I’m happy with that. I feel strong on the bike and I’m ready for tomorrow.”
GRANDE PRÉMIO 888 DE PORTUGAL – Combined Classification after DAY1:
1 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team 1’39.866
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’40.206 0.340 / 0.340
3 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.285 0.419 / 0.079
4 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.328 0.462 / 0.043
5 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team 1’40.336 0.470 / 0.008
6 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’40.339 0.473 / 0.003
7 Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’40.426 0.560 / 0.087
8 Johann ZARCO Pramac Racing 1’40.490 0.624 / 0.064
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’40.592 0.726 / 0.102
10 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’40.611 0.745 / 0.019
11 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL 1’40.732 0.866 / 0.121
12 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team 1’40.743 0.877 / 0.011
13 Luca MARINI SKY VR46 Avintia 1’40.761 0.895 / 0.018
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.907 1.041 / 0.146
15 Valentino ROSSI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’41.125 1.259 / 0.218
16 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’41.140 1.274 / 0.015
17 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’41.183 1.317 / 0.043
18 Danilo PETRUCCI Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 1’41.187 1.321 / 0.004
19 Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’41.216 1.350 / 0.029
20 Enea BASTIANINI Avintia Esponsorama 1’41.836 1.970 / 0.620
21 Iker LECUONA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 1’42.461 2.595 / 0.625
22 Jorge MARTIN Pramac Racing 1’42.921 3.055 / 0.46