Team Suzuki Press Office – May 14th
Joan Mir: 7th – 1’30.943 (+ 0.493)
Alex Rins: 8th – 1’30.977 (+ 0.527)
The focus will be on the front group for Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Joan Mir and Alex Rins after the duo displayed strong pace throughout the weekend. Whilst not starting from optimum spots, they will set off for the French GP from 7th and 8th respectively.
In FP3 Rins initially struggled a little to improve on his Friday time, and Mir was the one running up the front. However, this situation turned around when Alex made a last push to go 8th, despite having a flying lap cancelled. He simultaneously displayed his dominance in sector 1 of the track where he was fastest by more than a tenth of a second. Joan lost out on Q2 passage by just a few thousandths of a second, closing FP3 in 12th.
Joan was not prepared to end his Saturday in Q1, and he worked hard to constantly set quick times, topping the session and taking handfuls out of his previous best laps. In the nail-biting closing moments Mir set a 1’30.993 to move through to Q2.
In the final session of the day both riders set their best times of the weekend and proved to have good race pace, they are just half a second from the pole time.
“I’m happy with today’s qualifying. I didn’t think I would have to go through Q1, but in FP3 I just didn’t feel quite right, and it meant I wasn’t strong enough to finish in the Top 10. This is a track where you either feel good or you don’t. Then we changed some things on the bike and I immediately felt a lot more competitive, this allowed me to go through to final qualifying and to get a good lap time. I still feel like there’s a margin to make even more of a step, so I’m quite hopeful, especially if the race is dry.”
“The day was good; I improved compared to yesterday and I’m quite happy with my pace, especially in FP4. I tried the medium and the soft rear tyres, and I felt particularly good with the soft, but we don’t know what will be possible tomorrow. I feel calm and prepared for the race, even though it will be hard starting from P8. The weather looks pretty mixed for tomorrow, and it can be crazy here, so we need to be ready for everything!”
Livio Suppo - Team Manager
“We were hoping for a little bit more, because we believed that the second row was possible today. But both riders have good rhythm, and they’ve shown this throughout the weekend. I think they will have a decent race here tomorrow, but we hope the weather won’t be too much of a disaster – it’s always really unpredictable in Le Mans!”