Team Suzuki Press Office – November 14.
Grid positions for the Valencia GP:
Joan Mir: 12th – 1’30.988
Alex Rins: 14th – 1’31.594
The MotoGP field found a damp start to proceedings on Saturday morning at Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, and as the day went on conditions deteriorated. However, Joan Mir and Alex Rins remain completely focused on Sunday’s goal.
In FP3 it was hard to make any improvements in terms of lap times, although it was still useful for working on settings. With around 20 minutes remaining in the session, the riders began to improve and Mir went after his goal of a Top 10 time and passage to Q2. The Mallorcan dropped his lap times and placed seventh on combined as the chequered flag came out, ensuring a place in final qualifying. However, Rins narrowly missed out on a Top 10 time.
In FP4 the Suzuki pair both demonstrated strong pace and reported positive feeling with their GSX-RRs. Rins topped the session while Mir was fifth.
Rins and the other Q1 runners were unlucky in the highly competitive session as rain began to fall on the circuit once again, making improvements extremely difficult. Rins managed to place himself in fourth but could not get any higher as conditions worsened and will therefore start 14th on the grid for tomorrow’s GP.
In Q2 Mir got off to a good start, placing sixth, but despite bringing his lap time down little by little, he couldn’t get under a 1’30.988. This means he will start 12th on the grid tomorrow. However, the championship leader is feeling confident and he remains focused on his goal of a strong finish.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Today’s qualifying was not what we were hoping for, but there’s no drama. In FP4 both riders had really good pace, but during Q1 and Q2 the conditions were quite tricky and the track was damp. But we’re not too worried because we have a lot of trust and faith in our riders and we’re sure they’ll give everything to try and recover as many positions as possible, especially as they both have good race pace.”
“I couldn’t find the best feeling during qualifying, I couldn’t get a really fast lap time in despite feeling good and having good results in the other sessions – in fact I found some useful things today that I missed yesterday. The lack of pace in qualifying is something I don’t really understand, but I know that I can fight well tomorrow because in general I feel good. As long as I can make a good start and comeback I think I can be up there, because I have confidence in my race pace. I will focus on my own race, without thinking about the other riders and rivals.”
“It was a tough day, the conditions were bad during Q1 and it was hard to go fast because it was quite risky out there with the damp track. On my final exit I started to feel fast but then I saw a lot of rain flags and it was getting heavier so I had to slow down. On the plus side, my race pace is nice, and although it’s not easy to start from 14th I’ll be aiming to get a strong start and put in some quick laps to get myself into the highest position possible, I know I have potential.”
GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA – Qualifying Classification:
1. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:30.191
2. J. MILLER – Pramac Racing – 01:30.287 – +0.096
3. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:30.413 – +0.222
4. J. ZARCO – Esponsorama Racing – 01:30.520 – +0.329
5. P. ESPARGARO – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:30.553 – +0.362
6. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:30.645 – +0.454
7. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:30.657 – +0.466
8. F. BAGNAIA – Pramac Racing – 01:30.671 – +0.480
9. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:30.737 – +0.546
10. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Tech 3 – 01:30.781 – +0.590
11. F. QUARTARARO – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:30.864 – +0.673
12. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:30.988 – +0.797
13. C. CRUTCHLOW – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:31.159 – Q1
14. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:31.594 – Q1
15. D. PETRUCCI – Ducati Team – 01:31.601 – Q1
16. V. ROSSI – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:31.604 – Q1
17. A. DOVIZIOSO – Ducati Team – 01:31.606 – Q1
18. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – 01:31.831 – Q1
19. T. RABAT – Esponsorama Racing – 01:32.063 – Q1
20. A. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 01:32.205 – Q1
21. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:32.237 – Q1