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Unsettled Saturday for Suzuki at Le Mans

Team Suzuki Press Office – May 18.

Joan Mir: 18th – 1:40.606
Alex Rins: 19th – 1:40.706

• Joan Mir has first experience of GSX-RR in the wet.
• Alex Rins forced to fight against tightly packed field.
• Team prepare for hard race day with 18th and 19th grid spots.

The classic Le Mans circuit brought its typical unsettled conditions for Day 2, making for a difficult day of track sessions for the entire field. Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders were keen to build a good rhythm ahead of race day but found themselves down the order as Saturday drew to a close.

Rookie Joan Mir had his first taste of wet conditions on board his GSX-RR, getting to grips and gaining experience. He suffered a small crash without consequences during FP3. Meanwhile, Alex Rins placed himself in 4th at the flag. The FP4 session required the riders to be tentative as chilly track temperatures dominated the half-hour stint, Rins completed this session in 5th, while Mir was 17th.

A tumultuous Q1 session put pressure on all the riders participating, with tough decisions being made between wet and dry tyres. Rins and Mir began the session on wets, before switching to slicks. A cautious approach was necessary on track to avoid mistakes. Alex aimed to at least put himself up a few spots, but in the end he was 9th in the Q1 session, 19th on the grid. Joan was one spot ahead, 8th in the session and 18th on the grid.

Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“Unfortunately, Q1 didn’t go as we were hoping. The track was very mixed, and we saw that it was a case of being out at the right time with the right tyres. We missed being out at the optimum time. Anyway, we’re looking forward to tomorrow, whatever the conditions. We’ll put in a lot of effort and try to collect as many points as possible. It will be a difficult race, but that’s the game!”

Joan Mir
“It’s been a tricky day. I felt really good and comfortable in FP3, despite it being my first time in the wet. In Q1 I was on slicks at the wrong time, and by the time I changed the tyres the conditions changed too. It was really hard to put together a strategy, but nevertheless I feel that my pace is quite good. I would prefer tomorrow to be dry; I think I could make a great comeback.”

Alex Rins
“We had a bit of a problem during qualifying, and it was difficult to have a strategy. I started on wets, then I changed to slicks, but it started to rain more, and it was too risky to push. The session is short, and the time ran out. I’m starting near the back, but I’ll try to overtake as many riders as possible. I feel calm and good with either conditions; and let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

GP of France – Qualifying Classification:

1. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’40.952
2. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 1’41.312 0.360 / 0.360
3. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’41.366 0.414 / 0.054
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’41.552 0.600 / 0.186
5. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’41.655 0.703 / 0.103
6. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’41.681 0.729 / 0.026
7. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’42.059 1.107 / 0.378
8. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 1’42.067 1.115 / 0.008
9. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’42.450 1.498 / 0.383
10. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’42.509 1.557 / 0.059
11. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’42.555 1.603 / 0.046
12. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing NO TIME SET
13. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1’39.982 Q1
14. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’40.029 Q1
15. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’40.114 Q1
16. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1’40.385 Q1
17. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 1’40.482 Q1
18. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.606 Q1
19. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.706 Q1
20. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’41.351 Q1
21. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 KTM 1’41.717 Q1
22. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’41.786 Q1

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