Team Suzuki Press Office – September 19.
GP OCTO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI:
Joan Mir: 6th
Alex Rins: DNF
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s San Marino GP weekend was a mixed one, with both riders showing great pace but neither able to make it really pay in the 27 lap race.
The Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli welcomed 25,000 passionate fans for Sunday’s race and the threatening clouds which surrounded San Marino failed to dampen spirits or the circuit.
Alex Rins and Joan Mir fought their way into eighth and 10th by the end of the first lap and they were keen to continue building and pushing through the pack. On the fourth lap of the race Rins had slotted into sixth and shortly afterwards Mir moved into eighth.
Despite a track limits warning for Rins on Lap 11, he continued to push as he felt confident with his GSX-RR. The Spaniard was particularly strong in the last sector of the lap and he made several superb passes at Turn 14, including one on Marc Marquez which put him up to fifth. He then began to chase down Enea Bastianini, aiming for a solid Top-5 finish or better, but on Lap 18 at the first turn he suffered a fall – he was luckily uninjured.
Meanwhile Joan Mir was trying to make the best of a difficult GP, he had climbed into sixth on Lap 21, and with two laps left he was engaged in an intense battle with Jack Miller and Marc Marquez. Despite giving his all, and fighting well, he was unable to hold off their charge. Although he crossed the line in a decent fifth place, he was later demoted one position for exceeding track limits by a few centimetres on the last lap.
Despite his struggles today, Mir salvaging sixth means he maintains third in the World Standings. Team Suzuki Ecstar also hold third in the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ Standings.
The riders will now prepare for a two-day test at the San Marinese circuit on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Honestly I expected things to be different today – I was struggling a lot and that was quite a surprise. At the beginning my feeling wasn’t very good, but it got much better as the race went on, although by then it was too late to really challenge. Our potential is much higher than this, and I really want to demonstrate that in the next races. I actually really enjoyed the last laps, overtaking Marc and fighting with Jack; it was tough but it was fun. We all swapped places many times and unfortunately I was just over the track limits on the last lap which meant I had to move back one place to sixth. It could be worse, and I will keep my head up and look to the next rounds. Texas is an exciting circuit and I’m keen to get there.”
“I’m OK after the crash, just disappointed because I was doing a good race with nice pace. I was pretty consistent across all the laps, and I felt confident. I was riding very hard and I was trying to follow Bastianini, but he was super strong all race and he was braking harder than me. I lost a lot of time at the beginning of the race trying to make up places, and I was pushing to the limit to stay with Bastianini and get the best position possible, then I went down. I was pushing, but not more than normal, so we need to look at the data to realise exactly what happened. It’s disappointing but I’m glad that I’m uninjured, and now I’ll focus on the test days we have here. Then I’ll be looking forward to arriving in Austin in a couple of weeks.”
Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader and Team Director:
“We knew that Joan and Alex’s race pace was strong despite yesterday’s qualifying results, so I had confidence and expected them to recover positions quite quickly. But Joan struggled a bit to do good lap times in the first half of the race, maybe because of our tyre choice or the track conditions, then the feeling became better towards the end and he started to catch up with the front guys. I think he did his maximum today and believe he can fight for the top positions for the rest of season.
It was pity for Alex today with the crash because his pace was good enough to fight for a podium, but we should learn a lot from this race. We will check and investigate all the data to come back stronger and on the podium in the next races.”
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:
“We had good pace with the race tyres, in FP4 and this morning in Warm-Up, but in the race we couldn’t fight for the podium. Alex and Joan both fought during the race, Joan felt stronger as the laps went on and he was in a good battle at the end but he could only get sixth after the penalty. This isn’t a really bad result, but also we had hoped for more. Alex started the race well and he was pushing but then he had an unfortunate crash. It was a difficult day for us, but we have another race here in a few weeks and we will try again to get much better results.”
GP OCTO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI – Race Classification:
1. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 41:48.305
2. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – +00.364
3. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama – +04.789
4. M. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – +10.245
5. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – +10.469
6. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – +10.325
7. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – +13.234
8. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +15.698
9. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +16.129
10. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – +18.519
11. M. PIRRO – Ducati Lenovo Team – +20.373
12. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – +21.066
13. M. VIÑALES – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – +21.258
14. S. BRADL – Team Honda HRC – +28.142
15. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – +30.686
16. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – +32.654
17. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +33.853
18. F. MORBIDELLI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – +36.272
19. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia – +36.839
20. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – +37.202
21. A. DOVIZIOSO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – +42.587
A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 26:26.516 – 17 laps
I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 22:01.147 – 14 laps
J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 16:00.618 – 11 laps
MotoGP World Standings:
1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 234
2 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 186
3 Joan MIR Suzuki 167
4 Johann ZARCO Ducati 141
5 Jack MILLER Ducati 140
6 Brad BINDER KTM 124
7 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 104
8 Maverick VIÑALES Aprilia 98
9 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 92
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 87
11 Jorge MARTIN Ducati 71
12 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 70
13 Alex RINS Suzuki 68
14 Pol ESPARGARO Honda 64
15 Enea BASTIANINI Ducati 61
16 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 50
17 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 40
18 Iker LECUONA KTM 38
19 Danilo PETRUCCI KTM 37
20 Luca MARINI Ducati 28
21 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 28
22 Stefan BRADL Honda 13
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati 8
24 Dani PEDROSA KTM 6
25 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia 4
26 Tito RABAT Ducati 1
27 Cal CRUTCHLOW Yamaha
28 Garrett GERLOFF Yamaha
29 Jake DIXON Yamaha
30 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Yamaha