Team Suzuki Press Office – October 21st
Alex Rins: 2nd – 1’59.576 (+ 0.097)
Joan Mir: 5th – 1’59.951 (+ 0.472)
MotoGP has finally returned to Malaysia for the first race weekend at Sepang International Circuit since 2019, and Friday’s sessions were ‘in at the deep end’ as the riders experienced a dry and quick FP1, and a perilously wet FP2.
Alex Rins and Joan Mir were straight down to business in the morning, setting solid times and keeping themselves firmly in contention. The pair popped into the Top 5 with plenty of time still on the clock, with Rins shooting up to 2nd place a few minutes from the end. Mir was close by, taking 4th at the flag, less than half a second from the top.
There was a long delay to the start of FP2 after a huge downpour and thunderstorm struck Sepang during the Moto2 session. When the riders eventually got underway, the track was still extremely wet and the utmost caution was necessary. Alex and Joan took time to gain some feeling in the conditions, putting in stints on the wet tyres and gradually moving up the order, chosing not to switch to slicks in the limited window at the end of the session when the track had dried a little. They closed FP2 with Joan 8th and Alex 12th, but the faster morning times are what they’ll take into tomorrow.
“Today was a bit tricky and we needed to be focused. Despite the fact we weren’t expecting rain for the afternoon, we gave it everything in FP1 just in case, and it paid off. I was able to be pretty strong, with 2nd place, and I feel happy with that because quite often on a Friday I don’t have pace immediately. FP2 was difficult to manage because of the drying track with wet patches, so I decided to stay out on wet tyres. At the moment we don’t know if tomorrow will be dry or wet, it looks 50/50, so we have to wait and see what we can do in terms of qualifying, but if we can go directly to Q2 it will definitely help.”
“Things seem to be positive for us in both wet and dry conditions right now, although the track is challenging due to the low grip even when it’s dry, so it’s a bit complicated. We couldn’t really add to the grip today by putting rubber down because of it being so wet, so it seems likely that tomorrow will also be tough. But either way I feel fairly strong, and my FP1 session was nice. Let’s see how things are tomorrow, but I’m aiming high.”
Livio Suppo - Team Manager
“Another positive day for us. This morning in the dry both riders immediately went quickly, so we’re happy with the current set-up in dry conditions so far. Then the FP2 session was very strange, because it started very wet, but then the circuit started to dry rapidly towards the end. The riders opted not to switch to slicks, but their confidence in the wet was pretty good, which gives us confidence. Overall it seems that whatever the weather, we have potential, so let’s see what tomorrow brings.”