Team Suzuki Press Office – September 16th
Alex Rins: 6th – 1’47.665 (+ 0.263)
Joan Mir: 21st – 1’48.621 (+ 1.219)
The fifteenth round of the MotoGP championship got underway at MotorLand Aragon on Friday morning, and both Team Suzuki Ecstar riders were present as Joan Mir re-joined the ranks following his ankle injury.
Local man Alex Rins was quickly up to speed on his GSX-RR, remaining within the Top 5 for virtually the entire session and pushing the front three riders for top spot. Rins closed this first session in 3rd place. Mir was taking it easy for his first outing at the Spanish track, allowing himself time to re-adjust to riding and gauge his injury, he finished 17th.
Things didn’t improve for Joan in FP2 when he closed the day in 21st place after struggling with his ankle and finding it hard to use the rear brake.
Alex had his sights set on finishing Friday in the Top 10, a task that he managed well as he put in the fastest lap in his final time attack run, and ended the session in 6th spot. His strength seems to lie in sectors 1 and 4 at the moment, while he loses out a little in the middle of the lap.
“Today was a good day for me, from the start I was able to ride quite fast and put myself in the top positions, so overall I feel happy and encouraged ahead of qualifying. Tomorrow I will try the new ride height device that I tested in Misano, we didn’t use it today but we’ll give it a go tomorrow and see how it changes things – I think it could give me a couple more tenths, especially on the corner exits. Tyre management is going to be key for this race, so that’s another thing we’ll keep an eye on.”
“At the end of this first day I can say that I didn’t feel how I expected to in terms of my injury. I’m struggling to ride how I want, and that includes using the rear brake. I don’t have the dexterity and flexibility to use it properly at the moment. But together with the team we’re trying to find a solution to make it easier, and we’ll go again tomorrow. It’s disappointing, but we’re not going to give up yet.”
Livio Suppo - Team Manager
“Alex did a good job and he had strong pace, both in general and during the time attack. He’s closed the day in sixth, which is a nice start to the weekend that is basically a home race for him. On the other side of the garage, Joan is struggling more than we’d hoped, he’s feeling the limitations of the ankle at this tricky track. The team are working to make some adjustments and adaptations to make it easier for him tomorrow, such as with the rear brake, so let’s see how he does.”