Team Suzuki Press Office – June 5th
Joan Mir: 4th (+ 11.481)
Alex Rins: DNF
The Catalan GP was the definition of mixed fortunes for Team Suzuki Ecstar; Alex Rins had his race cut short at the first corner, and Joan Mir worked his way through the pack to bag another 4th place finish.
As the 24 lap race got underway with track temperatures of over 55 degrees Celsius all was set for a thrilling Grand Prix, but from his 7th place grid spot Alex Rins was denied the opportunity of performing well in front of his home crowd when he was taken down for the second week in a row. Nakagami went down at Turn 1, taking Bagnaia and Rins with him, and the three riders suffered a heavy crash. Alex had pain in his left wrist immediately after the fall, and at the time of publication he is undergoing medical checks in hospital.
A statement on Alex Rins’ condition will be issued later, following his medical examination.
Meanwhile, Joan Mir put together a fantastic charge from 17th on the grid, making up 11 places in quick succession and running 6th by Lap 2. Although he had to drop one place for a yellow flag infringement, he didn’t let that deter him and he was back up to 5th in no time. He held a steady pace for the remainder of the race, staying focused and consistent, but with clear air either side of him. At the start of the last lap Joan moved up into 4th – equalling his best result this season achieved in Argentina and Texas.
“My first lap and the first part of the race went very well, I felt really good. I had a yellow flag penalty, I passed another rider on the straight when I was tucked down and then I didn’t see the flag at Turn 1. As the race went on I started to struggle a little bit, but I was able to manage the situation. It was very important for me to finish this race well and get prepared for the test tomorrow. It’s nice to take some points after a rough few weeks.”
“First of all, I hope that Taka is OK, because I saw him in the medical centre, and I saw the replay of the crash, and it was very bad. You never want to see anyone injured, especially not a fellow rider. However, a mistake by him has cost me today, and another race with zero points is hard to take. I had a lot of potential today and strong pace, and I felt it could’ve been a really good race for me. But there’s nothing I can do now, and let’s see what the diagnosis is at the hospital.”
Livio Suppo – Team Manager
“I’m very pleased with Joan’s race, he did a very good job. If it weren’t for the qualifying position he could’ve been fighting for the podium, because his race pace was really good. I have no words for Alex, he made a perfect start, and with the rhythm he showed in the practice sessions I’m pretty certain he would’ve been able to challenge for the podium. These bad moments can happen in racing, and I believe he will come back stronger.”
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“It was a real pity for Alex, he showed how strong he could be in the race by getting a good start and it was so disappointing to see him fall so early in the race, through no fault of his own. He put together a good weekend in general. Joan had a great result because he came up from 17th on the grid to 4th, he stayed calm and got good points. I feel that we still haven’t reached our potential and we have more to offer in the coming races.”