MotoGP

DRAMATIC DAY OF DAMAGE LIMITATION FOR SUZUKI IN FRANCE


Team Suzuki Press Office - October 11.

Joan Mir: 11th (+ 16.980)
Alex Rins: DNF


Team Suzuki Ecstar approached the French Grand Prix after a tough couple of days on track at Le Mans and after finding some solutions during morning warm-up, the riders were feeling more confident ahead of the 26 lap race and they impressed the team and fans with their determination.

The commotion started earlier than usual when the Grand Prix was delayed due to a heavy rain shower just moments before the race was due to start. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders made a quick change from slick soft tyres to medium wets and maintained their composure as the lights went out.

Joan Mir had to take serious evasive action on the opening lap after Rossi suffered a crash in front of him; the run-off cost him some positions and disturbed his early race rhythm.

Alex Rins managed to miss the melee; he quickly found himself in seventh place and feeling confident on his GSX-RR in the wet. Rins then set about impressively carving his way through the field, and once in fourth place he set the fastest lap of the race on laps 6, 7, 8, 9, and 12. He was soon on the back of the leading trio, having taken more than three-and-a-half seconds out of them. An exciting battle then began which saw him make an outstanding overtake and found himself in second place on lap 18 after his incredible charge from 16th on the grid. However, an unfortunate crash saw him unable to finish the GP.

Meanwhile, Mir was getting to grips with his GSX-RR on the cold and wet track, having never ridden a MotoGP race in these conditions before. Gaining confidence on every lap and recovering from the scare and lack of grip at the start of the GP, he was determined to score as many points as possible. On the final lap of the race he had made his way into a remarkable ninth place, and at the chequered flag he crossed the line 11th. This result was crucial for Mir, as he managed to maintain his second place in the title standings, where he now sits 10 points from the top.

Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager:

“Honestly, right up until this morning we were struggling a lot, then the rain came and it was another story. It was a shame for Alex because he did an amazing effort and in the end he couldn’t get the reward. But we’re very impressed with his job today. Joan struggled at the start of the race but he recovered very well and managed to catch some good championship points, which was very important and we’re pleased for him.”

Davide Brivio - Team Manager:

“We have to be pleased with how our riders reacted to such a difficult race. It was a real pity for Alex as he had a great recovery from 16th place and he was fighting for the win. But unfortunately he crashed, which is very easy to do in these conditions. Joan did a good race, especially as he doesn’t have experience in the rain in the MotoGP class, he learned a lot today and he managed to get some decent points at the end. Overall, today showed a lot of promise so we actually leave Le Mans in good spirits despite the crash. We like Aragon as a track, and we’re looking forward to next weekend.”

Joan Mir:

“I lost a lot of time at the start of the race where I avoided the crash and then I began struggling a lot for grip. After that I started to get into a rhythm and I was feeling really good with the bike despite the conditions. By then it was too late to catch up to the front
riders but it was a nice race to try and get the maximum points, so I’m happy about that. I was 9th heading into the last chicane but then I lost the ideal line when Fabio did an overtake and sent me wide, but this is racing. I’m hoping to get a strong result next weekend in Aragon.”

Alex Rins:

“It was unfortunate to have that crash, but I’m actually feeling OK because there were a lot of positives today; I managed the pressure of the race delay and the bad grid position, and I felt very comfortable on the bike. I recovered a lot of positions and a lot of time and I was feeling good up with the leading group. I did a double over-take on the Ducatis and it felt incredible! But in the end I had a crash and couldn’t get the podium. Anyway, Aragon is like another home race for me so I’m happy to go there and I hope for a better qualifying!”

SHARK HELMETS GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE - MotoGP Race Classification:

1 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 45'54.736
2 Alex MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team +1.273
3 Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +1.711
4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team +3.911
5 Johann ZARCO Esponsorama Racing +4.310
6 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +4.466
7 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +5.921
8 Stefan BRADL Repsol Honda Team +15.597
9 Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT +16.687
10 Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +16.895
11 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +16.980
12 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +27.321
13 Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing +33.351
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +39.176
15 Iker LECUONA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 +51.087

DNF:
Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +1'14.190

Jack MILLER Pramac Racing
Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT
Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL
Tito RABAT Esponsorama Racing
Bradley SMITH Aprilia Racing Team Gresini
Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP

MotoGP World Standings:

1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha FRA 115
2 Joan MIR Suzuki SPA 105
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati ITA 97
4 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha SPA 96
5 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda JPN 81
6 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha ITA 77
7 Jack MILLER Ducati AUS 75
8 Pol ESPARGARO KTM SPA 73
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM POR 69
10 Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati ITA 64
11 Brad BINDER KTM RSA 62
12 Alex RINS Suzuki SPA 60
13 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha ITA 58
14 Alex MARQUEZ Honda SPA 47
15 Johann ZARCO Ducati FRA 47
16 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati ITA 42
17 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia SPA 24
18 Iker LECUONA KTM SPA 18
19 Cal CRUTCHLOW Honda GBR 13
20 Bradley SMITH Aprilia GBR 11
21 Stefan BRADL Honda GER 8
22 Tito RABAT Ducati SPA 8
23 Michele PIRRO Ducati ITA 4

Le Mans MotoGP Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Championship points (round by round): CLICK HERE





For more stories about Alex Rins, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Joan Mir, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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