Team Suzuki Press Office – September 30th
Alex Rins: 9th – 1’30.641 (+ 0.360)
Danilo Petrucci: 24th – 1’32.706 (+ 2.425)
The rain held off as MotoGP made its return to the Chang International Circuit in Thailand, and FP1 and FP2 were both held in grey but dry conditions.
Alex Rins was quick to prove his pace, launching towards the sharp end of Friday morning’s session. The Spaniard secured a spot in the Top 5 and barely budged from it, feeling comfortable on his GSX-RR on the dry track.
In FP2, considering the rain stayed away, very few riders improved on their morning times. A last push in the final ten minutes shook the times slightly, and Alex found himself fighting to remain in the crucial Top 10. However, he managed this task well, closing in 9th place on combined, ahead of what’s predicted to be a wet Saturday.
Danilo Petrucci, standing in for Joan Mir, took it easy during his first outing on the GSX-RR, learning to tame his usually aggressive style to better suit the smooth Suzuki. However, his lap times were respectable and he closed FP1 in 22nd. As he continued his debut day on the bike, a bit of bad luck meant he was unable to improve in FP2, finishing 24th, but the Italian feels positive about the days ahead.
“I’m super happy with today’s work. My pace was good and I was feeling fast in FP1, but in FP2 the track conditions changed due to the heat, so it was hard to improve in the afternoon. Luckily, I held onto the Top 10. Today we had dry sessions, but maybe it will be a different story tomorrow! Anyway, this track is very enjoyable and I’m feeling good. I don’t really mind what the weather does, I feel we can be competitive.”
“I’m happy because my performance actually improved from one session to the other, but on my flying laps I caught yellow flags and then on my last lap I touched the green so I lost those laps, which meant I didn’t improve my time on paper. I was a bit upset not to climb a few places, but in general I’m so happy and I love the feel of the bike. I was really nervous to try the bike this morning, but it’s so nice to ride, and you get so much feeling from it, I’m really proud to be on it. Everyone in MotoGP is really fast, so it’s not any easy task to be up there, but I’m enjoying myself.”
Livio Suppo - Team Manager
“As always, Alex has had a promising and positive Friday performance. His lap times were good, and even though he lost some laps, like many riders, at the end of the session due to yellow flags he was quick enough to finish in the Top 10. Danilo made a good debut, it’s not easy to jump back on a MotoGP bike, especially one he’s never tried before, but he did a really good job. We’re looking forward to the rest of the weekend.”