Unlucky crash at formidable MotoGP San Marino

MGP-14-Kazuki Watanabe-36

Team Suzuki Press Office – September 3.

Alex Rins: 12th – 1’33.438 (+ 1.539)
Kazuki Watanabe: 23rd – 1’36.289 (Q1)

Saturday saw Suzuki’s riders get into their stride in San Marino, with Kazuki Watanabe continuing to improve his pace, and Alex Rins running a great FP3. The Spanish rider pushed hard in the closing stages to set the sixth fastest time in the session. He was later promoted to fifth after another rider had a lap cancelled.

Rain drops fell at the beginning of FP4, leaving the track with mixed conditions and making for an uncomfortable session. Watanabe was unlucky when a crash at the formidable Turn 15 caught him out at the very end of the session, but he and the team were quick to prepare for Q1 and the stand-in rider did an admirable job in the tricky conditions of the first qualifying session, ending Q1 in 13th and therefore 23rd on the grid.

In the final qualifying session of the day, as rain continued to fall on and off, Rins started to struggle with his feeling. Almost the entire field, including him, took their first exit on full wets, but it quickly became clear that the track was a little bit too dry and a change to slicks was executed with nine minutes to go. Rins then stayed out for the remainder of the session, setting personal best laps, but he was unable to progress higher than 12th.

Alex Rins:

“Today was not the best day in the office, I was trying hard and I gave my maximum in the qualifying, improving each lap, but it wasn’t enough. My feeling in those conditions wasn’t the best; I knew I had slick tyres and with the rain falling on my visor I didn’t feel very comfortable to push more. I need to recover a few positions on the start tomorrow, and then I’m hopeful that I can do a good race.”

Kazuki Watanabe:

“At the beginning of the day, in FP3, I felt better on the bike, and I improved the lap time. I have been building my speed lap by lap and I was enjoying it. Then in FP4, I lost the front when trying to follow Alex. These things can happen, and luckily I’m fine and I was able to go straight out in Q1. Tomorrow will be a good day, I’m very excited.”

Livio Suppo – Team Manager:

“We are looking at the positive side of things; Kazuki had a crash, but he’s not injured – which is the most important thing – and he did a good job, improving with each session and qualifying well despite the crash. We’re happy with his work. Alex has good race pace as always, but in these conditions he didn’t have the confidence to really push, so the position isn’t the best, but we know he’s capable of strong starts so let’s look forward to tomorrow.”


1 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team 1’31.899
2 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team 1’31.914 0.015 0.015
3 Enea BASTIANINI Gresini Racing MotoGP 1’32.014 0.115 0.100
4 Marco BEZZECCHI Mooney VR46 Racing Team 1’32.048 0.149 0.034
5 Maverick VIÑALES Aprilia Racing 1’32.118 0.219 0.070
6 Johann ZARCO Prima Pramac Racing 1’32.169 0.270 0.051
7 Luca MARINI Mooney VR46 Racing Team 1’32.226 0.327 0.057
8 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’32.246 0.347 0.020
9 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing 1’32.577 0.678 0.331
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’32.775 0.876 0.198
11 Franco MORBIDELLI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’33.351 1.452 0.576
12 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’33.438 1.539 0.087
13 Jorge MARTIN Prima Pramac Racing 1’32.015 Q1
14 Fabio DI GIANNANTONIO Gresini Racing MotoGP 1’32.276 Q1
15 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’32.600 Q1
16 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL 1’32.631 Q1
17 Michele PIRRO Aruba.it Racing 1’32.658 Q1
18 Andrea DOVIZIOSO WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 1’32.663 Q1
19 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team 1’32.826 Q1
20 Stefan BRADL Repsol Honda Team 1’32.838 Q1
21 Darryn BINDER WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team 1’33.331 Q1
22 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’33.484 Q1
23 Kazuki WATANABE Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’36.289 Q1
24 Remy GARDNER Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 1’44.690 Q1
25 Raul FERNANDEZ Tech3 KTM Factory Racing 1’46.732 Q1

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