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Uphill Battle Awaits Rins and Mir After Difficult Saturday

Team Suzuki Press Office – June 1.

Alex Rins: 13th – 1:46.539
Joan Mir: 20th – 1:47.519


Alex Rins narrowly misses out in Q1.
• Joan Mir getting to grips with Mugello ahead of race.
• Team acknowledge mountain to climb on Sunday.

The second day of track action proved challenging for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR. Mugello’s bright start on Saturday morning meant a highly competitive FP3 session, with many riders battling it out for direct passage to Q2. An early crash for Alex Rins at Turn 11 (Palagio) cost the Spaniard dearly, although he was luckily uninjured. The session was also tough for rookie, Joan Mir, who is still learning this very technical track, he finished 20th.

The team searched for improvements in the 30-minute FP4 session, keen to prepare an attack in Q1. Alex shot into 3rd place with a few minutes to go and closed the session in a decent 4th place.

Both Rins and Mir headed out for qualifying with the hard-soft tyre combination, and they quickly slotted in to 2nd and 5th places respectively. Joan tried hard to find his rhythm, but he will start from 20th on the grid. Alex held onto this 2nd place – which would have promoted him to Q2 – until the final seconds of the session, when he just missed a last flying lap, pushing him to 3rd in the session and 13th on the grid for tomorrow’s race.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“This morning was difficult because Alex’s crash made the whole session more complicated. Then, in FP4, we found a good feeling again and we think our race pace is quite good. Alex was very close to getting into Q2, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. Despite the starting position, he has a strong enough pace to make up a lot of places tomorrow. Joan did a good lap right at the end of Q1, and he is learning in every session, the race will be tough for him from that position – but we know he will give his best.”

Alex Rins
“I lost some confidence after my crash, but I recovered it in the later sessions. For the final lap of Q1, I exited the pits at the same time as Rossi, he was behind me on the time sheets and I thought he would be pushing, so I intended to stay behind him on the track as it’s always easier here with a tow. But in the end the lap got messed up and I just lost out on Q2. Tomorrow I’ll try to put together a good race, there are many competitive riders at the front, and I’ll push hard to be up with them.”

Joan Mir
“Qualifying was tough, I couldn’t manage to do a fast lap. I was trying to improve my lap time, but I was in a big group and I didn’t see the chequered flag, which was a shame because I felt I had good pace at the end of the session. It will be interesting to start this Italian Grand Prix from 20th place, I think it will still be a nice race because I feel that I’ll be able to get into a rhythm tomorrow. We’ll see what happens!”

GP of Italy – Qualifying Classification:

1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’45.519
2. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’45.733 0.214 / 0.214
3. Danilo PETRUCCI Mission Winnow Ducati 1’45.881 0.362 / 0.148
4. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’45.959 0.440 / 0.078
5. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’46.029 0.510 / 0.070
6. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’46.079 0.560 / 0.050
7. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’46.181 0.662 / 0.102
8. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1’46.260 0.741 / 0.079
9. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Mission Winnow Ducati 1’46.293 0.774 / 0.033
10. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’46.387 0.868 / 0.094
11. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’46.433 0.914 / 0.046
12. Michele PIRRO Mission Winnow Ducati 1’46.638 1.119 / 0.205
13. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’46.539 Q1
14. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’46.678 Q1
15. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’46.899 Q1
16. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 1’47.028 Q1
17. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 1’47.135 Q1
18. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’47.184 Q1
19. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’47.394 Q1
20. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’47.519 Q1
21. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’48.222 Q1
22. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’48.235 Q1
23. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’48.303 Q1