Team Suzuki Press Office – September 14.
Alex Rins: 9th – 1:33.265
Joan Mir: 10th – 1:33.431
• Alex Rins to defend third in the championship from third row.
• Joan Mir comes through Q1 to put his GSX-RR just behind team-mate.
• Team hoping to battle in front group.
Saturday in San Marino saw plenty of early excitement as the riders vied to set top times. The morning’s FP3 was warm and bright, meaning improvements were possible. Alex Rins took advantage of this and placed himself inside the Top 10 to secure passage to Q2, completing FP3 in 8th. Joan Mir used the session to confirm his settings and work on race pace, although he also set a decent lap time of 1:33.497.
FP4 was a solid session for both riders, with Rins setting the 5th fastest time, and Joan Mir preparing for the competitive Q1 ahead.
Mir managed the Q1 session very well, putting in a quick lap early on to head the session, and then defending his position in the top two until the chequered flag flew.
Both riders chose the medium-soft tyre combination for the final qualifying session and opted to do two runs. Mir showed promising pace from the beginning, while Rins took some time to bed in to the intense session. The final classification saw Rins in 9th and Mir in 10th place, but as an effect of the penalization of Johann Zarco, Joan will make his return to racing from 9th on the grid, while Alex will start one place ahead of his team-mate in 8th.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“It was a difficult qualifying, this track isn’t easy. Things could have gone a little better, but we have still done a good job so far this weekend. We’re still looking for a few little improvements, perhaps we can find something in warm-up. Joan did really well to come from Q1 and then qualify 10th, it’s a good comeback after his absence. And Alex is on the third row and in good shape, we’ll try to fight at the front.”
“We struggle a bit more here than at other tracks, but my race pace is OK. In FP4 I did a run of 9 laps on one set of tyres and the pace was really strong. In terms of a hot lap, it looks like I’m far away from the others, but I don’t feel that I am when it comes to the race. Tomorrow won’t be easy, but I’ll try hard for a good result. I feel optimistic.”
“In the end this is a good result in terms of grid position, especially for my first race back. But we are struggling a little bit here, especially on direction changes, and we still have some margin for improvement. Our pace is better than our grid position I think, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow!”
GP of San Marino – Qualifying 2 Classification:
1. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’32.265
2. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’32.560 0.295 / 0.295
3. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’32.571 0.306 / 0.011
4. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’32.710 0.445 / 0.139
5. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’32.742 0.477 / 0.032
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’33.038 0.773 / 0.296
7. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’33.079 0.814 / 0.041
8. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’33.123 0.858 / 0.044
9. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’33.265 1.000 / 0.142
10. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’33.431 1.166 / 0.166
11. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’33.449 1.184 / 0.018
12. Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 1’33.461 1.196 / 0.012
13. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1’33.488 Q1
14. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’33.516 Q1
15. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’33.522 Q1
16. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’33.571 Q1
17. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 1’33.630 Q1
18. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 1’33.777 Q1
19. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1’34.162 Q1
20. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1’34.322 Q1
21. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 1’34.401 Q1
22. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’34.904 Q1
29 Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini NTS