Team Suzuki Press Office – November 14th
GRAN PREMIO MOTUL DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA
Joan Mir: 4th
Alex Rins: DNF
An unfamiliar atmosphere closed around the Ricardo Tormo in Valencia for the final MotoGP™ in 2021, as the paddock not only celebrated the end of a season but also the end of an era with the retirement of Valentino Rossi.
Both Team Suzuki Ecstar riders got off to a strong starts, especially Joan Mir who slotted straight into 3rd place. Alex Rins dropped a couple of places to 7th before quickly fighting back to 5th. The pair then both proceeded to pass Jack Miller, putting their GSX-RRs in 2nd and 4th by the start of Lap 3, and setting fastest laps in the process. Until Lap 11 both Mir and Rins continued to do battle with the Ducatis of Jorge Martin and Francesco Bagnaia, but at Turn 6 Alex was a little off-line and he low-sided out of the race.
With Suzuki’s hopes now resting on Joan Mir’s shoulders, the Mallorcan was doing his best to keep the red bikes in sight, and for a few laps he closed the deficit. But as the race wore on, Joan had to instead focus on settling in position – he had a large gap behind him and despite wanting to fight for the podium he closed the race in a decent and sensible 4th place. As confirmed at the Algarve GP, Joan is 3rd in the final Championship Standings. Suzuki also take 3rd in the Constructors’ Championship and the Teams’ Championship.
I’m 3rd in the championship, which is something after a tricky season for us. Let’s look towards Jerez…-Joan Mir
“Well, I don’t know where to start; I’m really disappointed because I didn’t expect this feeling during the race; I thought today could be our day because I had strong pace all throughout the weekend, but when it came to the race it was different and I struggled with the front. In the end the most I could do was 4th. It’s not the way I wanted the race to go, I want to be fighting for the podium every time, and especially here. I’m 3rd in the championship, which is something after a tricky season for us. Let’s look towards Jerez…”
“It has been an unlucky race for us here in Valencia, for sure it’s a big shame to end the season like this. Because I had the pace and I was running well, but I made a mistake. I was very slightly off-line and that’s what caused the crash, when that moment happened I knew I might crash - in the end it can be like that, but I’m disappointed. We’ll look at the data and then I’ll start to focus on the test, we’ll go to Jerez next week to try next year’s bike and our goal is to fight again in 2022.”
We’ll go to Jerez next week to try next year’s bike and our goal is to fight again in 2022.- Alex Rins
Shinichi Sahara - Project Leader and Team Director
“Today we were close to the podium, but not quite there. I feel like this is a starting point to improve for 2022. Alex had good speed until the crash, and despite how it ended it’s a good sign – it gives us hope because the pace was strong. Joan also managed the weekend very well from the first practice onwards, but his feeling in the race wasn’t quite right. He was able to get 4th, which is OK and not a bad way to end the year. Now we’re fully focused on next season, starting with the test next week.”
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“Friday and Saturday went really well and our riders did a good job. We had high expectations for the race, and although we were fighting for the podium we couldn’t get it in the end. Alex had a crash and that ruled him out, and Joan started the race well but then his pace dropped off in the second half. We will work hard to improve the bike for next year. I want to say thank you to Valentino Rossi, who has changed our motorcycle world. And also thank you to our riders, the Team and the engineers for their work this season, as well as all the Suzuki fans for their support.”