Team Suzuki Press Office – September 12th
GRAN PREMIO TISSOT DE ARAGÓN
Joan Mir: 3rd
Alex Rins: 12th
A misty morning at Motorland Aragón quickly cleared to make way for a scorching Sunday and a thrilling race day. Joan Mir and Alex Rins both opted for the hard-soft tyre combination ahead of the 23 lap race and despite starting 7th and 20th on the grid respectively, both were ready to do battle.
By the end of the first lap, Mir had made it up to 5th and Rins up to 15th, and by the fourth lap of the race Alex had climbed to 12th. The race began to spread out a little as each rider slotted into their rhythm and everybody was keen to preserve their tyres. Mallorca’s Mir maintained his 5th place spot, keeping an eye on the gap behind him whilst also keeping the leading 4 riders in his sights. On the twelfth lap of the race, Joan climbed two places in quick succession, placing himself in a podium position.
Alex Rins begun to struggle with front end feeling, although he reported it was different to what he had experienced earlier in the weekend. But the Spaniard was determined not to give up at this track that he likes so much, he continued to battle on and retook 12th from Pol Espargaró.
Joan Mir, aware of the widening gap in front of him to the duelling duo, decided to play a wise game. And when Aleix Espargaró closed in on him in the final laps he responded to the pressure and kept the Aprilia rider at bay to take his fifth podium of the season.
With these results, Mir keeps the title leaders within reach and Team Suzuki Ecstar move up to 3rd in the Teams’ standings and Manufacturers’ standings.
We’ll keep pushing to improve for the remaining rounds. I’m not thinking of the title, I just want to get the best possible result at every race.- Joan Mir
“I’m a bit disappointed, despite the podium, because I wasn’t able to be as fast as I wanted. But the important thing was that I managed to be really consistent and feel comfortable on the bike. The team and I put in a lot of effort and that resulted in a 3rd place finish, which was good, but I was hoping to have winning pace. The track was very hot and all weekend it was hard to get optimal grip and feeling, but I kept fighting and this podium brings us positivity and some nice points. We’ll keep pushing to improve for the remaining rounds. I’m not thinking of the title, I just want to get the best possible result at every race.”
“It was a very, very difficult race. In the first part I overtook a lot of riders, but then when I went onto the long straight I was fast but I was also keen to maintain the condition of the tyre. I got up to 12th and then I started to feel quite strange with not much grip or feeling in general. I wanted to do the best job possible, but in the end I couldn’t gain any more places. I don’t feel so bad because I gained a lot of places compared with my grid position and I’m ready to move on to Misano and try again.”
I don’t feel so bad because I gained a lot of places compared with my grid position and I’m ready to move on to Misano and try again.- Alex Rins
Shinichi Sahara - Project Leader and Team Director
“First of all I’d like to say ‘great job’ to Joan and his crew! During the weekend he was steady and consistent as usual and he made a good start from his grid position. He maintained everything very well, and he stayed very concentrated. I’m really happy for him to be back on the podium. We still need to find something more to fight for the title, but I believe we can do that. Alex achieved great lap times in Warm-Up this morning with a used tyre, but he lacked a bit of feeling with the bike during the race, despite this he recovered well. We’re already looking forward to Misano and hoping to see both our riders at the front.”
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“We had high expectations here because last year we had fantastic results, but this year we are struggling a bit more. Despite this situation, Joan did a very good job to take a podium and I’m very happy. Alex improved in the race compared with his qualifying position, but he couldn’t achieve what he wanted today. We need to study the data again and try to find the solutions ahead of Misano next weekend.”