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Strong QP and Good Pace for Rins and Mir at Catalan GP

Team Suzuki Press Office – June 15.

Alex Rins: 8th – 1:39.870
Joan Mir: 11th – 1:40.240
Sylvain Guintoli 23rd – 1:41.270

• Alex Rins with fantastic rhythm before costly crash.
• Joan Mir proves pace as he flies into Q2.
• Team ready to tackle Barcelona with three riders.

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya played host to a day of incredibly tight times between the entire MotoGP field.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir began the morning’s FP3 session in high spirits following a positive Day 1 in Barcelona. With every rider keen to secure a place in Q2, the session became fast and furious, with 17 riders covered by one second. And amazingly, at the end of FP3, the Top 10 were all within just 0.402 of a second. Rins showed his promising pace early on and he topped FP3 with a great 1:39.547 lap. Joan Mir looked strong and placed himself within the Top 10 a couple of times during the session, before being bumped down the order to 14th when the chequered flag came out.

FP4 provided an opportunity for the three Suzuki riders to make their final adjustments and try their tyre options for the race.

Mir had a battle on his hands in the competitive Q1 session, but the rookie kept his cool and proved his pace by holding onto an impressive 2nd place and graduating to Q2. Meanwhile, Sylvain Guintoli took 13th in the session to start 23rd on the grid.

Q2 was bound to be a thrilling session, with hot laps coming in from many riders. Rins put in several very quick lap times and was on a promising flying lap when he went down at Turn 10. Without time to rejoin the session, he got shuffled down to 8th. Mir worked well to secure an 11th place grid spot, just one row behind his team-mate.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“We can be happy today because we’ve done a good job and Alex was fast in all the sessions. Unfortunately, he had a crash during Q2, which was a shame because we feel he had the potential for an even better grid slot. Joan did a good job today, especially getting into Q2 which was hard to do. He qualified in 11th, so we feel confident with both riders for tomorrow. We’ll give our best.”

Alex Rins
“The crash was a shame because I was feeling very strong, and I had just set two ‘red’ (fastest) sector times before I went down, so I was hoping and aiming for the front row. Anyway, I feel great with the bike and I have a good rhythm, so that’s the most important thing. I’ll give my all to have a good home race tomorrow, I’m feeling confident and comfortable.”

Joan Mir
“I’m satisfied with today, the team and I worked really hard in FP4 to gain information for the race. I was really pleased to get through to Q2, that was a big positive for me. During qualifying I chose the wrong tyre option so I couldn’t get higher than 11th, but I’m pleased with this position anyway. Let’s see where I can finish tomorrow.”

Sylvain Guintoli
“The track was hotter this afternoon which meant the grip went down a bit. But in my second run I put together a run of consistent and quite quick laps, and I wasn’t too far from the top guys despite using race tyres. My feeling with the bike is good, but I don’t have any big targets for tomorrow, let’s see how it all unfolds. It will be tough out there, like always!”

GP of Catalunya – Qualifying Classification:

1. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’39.484
2. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’39.499 0.015 / 0.015
3. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’39.710 0.226 / 0.211
4. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’39.711 0.227 / 0.001
5. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’39.753 0.269 / 0.042
6. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Mission Winnow Ducati 1’39.777 0.293 / 0.024
7. Danilo PETRUCCI Mission Winnow Ducati 1’39.844 0.360 / 0.067
8. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’39.870 0.386 / 0.026
9. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’40.151 0.667 / 0.281
10. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 1’40.199 0.715 / 0.048
11. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.240 0.756 / 0.041
12. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’40.425 0.941 / 0.185
13. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1’40.167 Q1
14. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’40.271 Q1
15. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 1’40.349 Q1
16. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’40.362 Q1
17. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.400 Q1
18. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’40.427 Q1
19. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing Ducati 343.4 1’40.682 Q1
20. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’40.752 Q1
21. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’40.839 Q1
22. Bradley SMITH Aprilia Racing Team 1’41.232 Q1
23. Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’41.270 Q1
24. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’41.748 Q1