Team Suzuki Press Office - August 7th
Grid positions for StyrianGP:
Joan Mir: 5th - 1’23.322 (+ 0.328)
Alex Rins: 13th - 1’23.585 (Q1)
Saturday morning in Styria saw Suzuki debut their new ride height adjuster. The long-awaited manually activated device is predicted to assist the riders with stability, anti-wheelie, and power delivery and the early impressions of the first prototype were very good. Joan Mir and Alex Rins both tried it during FP3, a crucial session ahead of qualifying, and Mir was quick to get to the top of the timesheets. The pair closed the session in 5th and 13th respectively, with Rins narrowly missing out on Q2 passage.
FP4 got off to a rough start for Joan Mir as the Mallorcan suffered a fast crash at Turn 9. Fortunately he was uninjured and the bike sustained minimal damage. Despite losing around 15 minutes of the session he got back on track with great pace, comfortably slotting into the Top 5 with 4th. Alex Rins, focusing on set-up, closed the session 21st.
The fiery 15-minute Q1 session saw Rins pushing hard to try and move his way into Q2. In his first exit he headed the session and held this place in the Top 2 until just minutes before the chequered flag when he slipped to 3rd. He will start 13th on the grid for tomorrow’s 28 lap race.
Joan Mir got off to a great start in Q2, feeling confident with his GSX-RR, and he set a string of quick laps. He sat in the Top 3 for most of the session and eventually took 5th on the grid, a good vantage point for the Styrian Grand Prix, and his best qualifying result of the season so far.
Tomorrow will be quite a big fight I think, I am hoping to be there in the front group.- Joan Mir
“Overall we’re having a great weekend, I started out strong yesterday and today I felt good too. I had a crash, quite a fast one, in FP4 while I was testing the limits. Luckily I’m OK, and the bike wasn’t too damaged either. I feel that there’s still margin to improve but this starting position is good and I’m happy about it. The team are working really hard and this 5th is a nice reward. Tomorrow will be quite a big fight I think, I am hoping to be there in the front group. It was really interesting to try the rear device for the first time today, it’s not easy at first and you need to get used to it, but for a first prototype I’m impressed and pleased with it.”
“We struggled today. We focused on FP4 a lot, trying to find the best set-up and also learning how to best use the new ride height device - I did some comparisons between the two bikes, one with the device and one without. I feel that the bike works better with it, it wheelies less and it feels good. In Q1 it was a real shame because I was very close to getting through to Q2, and it’s hard when you miss it by a small amount. Let’s see how the weather conditions will be tomorrow, it’s possible we will have a lot of rain, so it could be a challenging race. At the moment it’s hard to really gauge our race pace, but I will give my best to gain places from my grid spot and bring a good finish to the team.”
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“Honestly, I’m not very satisfied with today’s situation because I thought Alex had more potential, and I thought the bike had too. We missed out in FP3 and in Q1, so it’s disappointing for everyone. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow, we hope to help him improve ahead of the race. Joan had good pace in all the sessions, despite the crash, and in the end 5th position and the second row is a nice place to start, I feel we can do something from there. Like always, we will push tomorrow to get the best possible results for both riders.”
I did some comparisons between the two bikes, one with the device and one without. I feel that the bike works better with it, it wheelies less and it feels good.- Alex Rins