Team Suzuki Press Office - August 14th
Grid positions for AustrianGP:
Joan Mir: 7th - 1’23.378 (+ 0.735)
Alex Rins: 13th - 1’23.470 (Q1)
Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders came into qualifying day following a successful Friday at the Red Bull Ring which saw them finish in 2nd and 3rd despite challenging conditions. The main priority in FP3 was to consolidate their positions inside the Top 10, and they managed to achieve this early on, but as the times hotted up Alex Rins found himself pushed down to 11th, missing out on Q2 passage by a painstaking 0.001 of a second. Joan Mir finished FP3 in 7th.
The afternoon remained dry, with track and air temperatures both rising rapidly, and FP4 provided the perfect playground for Mir and Rins to try tyre options and settings, including small race simulations. The pair put fresh tyres on at the end of the session and launched into 3rd and 4th respectively.
Alex Rins worked hard in Q1 to drop his lap times, something which he achieved during the 15-minute session. But his 1’23.470 was not quite enough to keep him in the all important Top 2, meaning he will start tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix from 13th on the grid.
Joan Mir attacked at the beginning of Q2, and set some strong lap times, finally getting the 7th spot on the grid.
It was a difficult qualifying, I struggled a bit more than normal, and more than I expected. I think the high temperatures on track made everything more difficult, and I struggled with stopping the bike.- Joan Mir
“It was a difficult qualifying, I struggled a bit more than normal, and more than I expected. I think the high temperatures on track made everything more difficult, and I struggled with stopping the bike. But racing is like this, it changes every day, and I generally feel happy with my pace. It’s not a big drama, but for sure I would’ve liked more for tomorrow, second row was more my aim. We’ll continue working, and I’ll give my best, so let’s hope we can achieve a good result tomorrow.”
“My qualifying day wasn’t so good, today started off well and I was fast but then when we got to Q1 it went badly. The strange thing is that my lap time in Q1 wasn’t enough to get through to Q2, but when you look at those final Q2 times I would’ve actually placed 9th. Anyway, it’s a shame to miss out, but I feel OK with the bike and I have potential to do a good race. We managed to fix some of the issues I had last weekend and that has helped me, and I hope that will also help me in the race tomorrow. My main goal is to get a good start and obviously I’ll give my all to get the highest place possible.”
I feel OK with the bike and I have potential to do a good race. We managed to fix some of the issues I had last weekend and that has helped me, and I hope that will also help me in the race tomorrow.- Alex Rins
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“Another tricky Saturday for us, and it was a pity that Alex missed out on Q2. Joan also struggled compared to last week, and he will start further down the grid. It’s well known that qualifying isn’t our strong point, but obviously we always work to improve - especially when the other manufacturers are improving week on week. But our race pace is always very strong so tomorrow we think we can do a good race as long as we can get good starts for our riders.”