Team Suzuki Press Office – May 13th
Alex Rins: 3rd – 1’31.445 (+ 0.297)
Joan Mir: 8th – 1’31.666 (+ 0.518)
The French GP got off to a strong start for Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders, Alex Rins and Joan Mir, as the pair placed themselves firmly within the Top 10 and displayed consistently quick pace.
Right from the beginning of FP1 Rins shot up the time sheets, initially taking 3rd before briefly topping the session. Mir was quick to follow and he hovered in the Top 5 throughout the morning. They finished FP1 in 2nd and 6th respectively.
Both sessions on Friday were fairly crash-strewn despite Le Mans Bugatti Circuit offering up hot and sunny conditions. Joan Mir was one of the victims, with a fast off at Turn 7 in FP2. Luckily, he escaped without serious injury and was able to return to the track on his second bike just 14 minutes after the crash. Alex Rins used part of FP2 to try a long run with used tyres. The GSX-RR mounted riders both took impressive chunks out of their previous best times, and they complete Friday with Rins 3rd and Mir 8th on combined.
“Overall it’s been a good day, with both FP1 and FP2 going well. I feel quite competitive so far, although I would like to improve the feeling with the rear because I began to suffer a lack of grip in FP2. I’m focused on the job at hand, and I feel comfortable riding around Le Mans, the bike works well here especially on the quick changes of direction and the fast corners. I want to get directly into Q2 tomorrow, the times are tight but we’ll try for sure.”
“It feels good to get back out there on the bike and concentrate on riding, and I felt strong in FP1. I had a high speed crash in FP2, which then had a bit of an impact on my performance for the rest of the day. I’m not injured, which is good, but I expect that I won’t have the best night’s sleep and I’ll be sore tomorrow. But anyway, I’m fairly competitive for the opening day and the team and I know what we have to do to continue in a good way. There were a lot of crashes and yellow flags today, which can make you lose laps, so we have to keep that in mind tomorrow.”
Livio Suppo - Team Manager
“It’s been a very good day - the only downside was Joan’s crash, but luckily he’s OK and that’s always the most important thing. Both riders have shown that they can be fast here, and they had good pace from FP1 onwards. They continued to improve their lap times throughout the day, so we feel that it’s been a good start to the race weekend.”