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SUZUKI MOTORCYCLE MAY 2021 RACING NEWS

SUZUKI AT DOHA

TIGHT TIMES ON FRIDAY FOR DOHA WEEKEND AS SUZUKI SETS THE TONE

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Team Suzuki Press Office – April 2.

Alex Rins: 8th – 1’53.713 (+ 0.568)

Joan Mir: 13th – 1’54.012 (+ 0.867)

For the second week in a row, Team Suzuki Ecstar took to the Qatari track on Friday for the first practice sessions of the Doha GP.

The FP1 session was similar to that of last week, with the riders getting to grips with the sandy and hot track ahead of an important evening FP2 session. Both Alex Rins and Joan Mir made decent progress and put in some strong laps, closing the session in second and eighth respectively.

With sundown and FP2 came added pressure as it seems highly likely that lap times will not improve in tomorrow’s FP3. This meant that the riders needed to secure a place in the Top 10 for provisional passage to Saturday’s Q2. This proved a tough task as the times became extremely tight; the top 17 riders were covered by just 1 second throughout the session.

Rins was able to find good feeling with his soft-soft tyre combination, and he quickly moved up the rankings into third place with just a few minutes to go, although he slipped to eighth in the final moments. Mir was pushing to come up the order and get into the crucial Top 10, but as the clock ticked down he went in for a fresh set of tyres but ran out of time to get them up to best temperature. He closed FP2 in 13th place – although just a 10th-of-a-second from the Top 10 and +0.867 from the top.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“After the race last weekend we already had our base settings, so in FP1 we just fine-tuned the bikes. Then we turned our focus to FP2 where our target was to set quick lap times and get into the Top 10. Alex managed to do this, but unfortunately Joan missed out by just one tenth of a second. We’ll work tonight and see how we can improve ahead of tomorrow.”

Alex Rins: “I’m feeling quite good, and I’m happy to be provisionally in Q2. Everyone was so close on times and the track conditions were tricky – it wasn’t very grippy. Anyway, I was able to do some fast laps and I’m pleased about that. My pace, even on used tyres, was good and I’m feeling confident for tomorrow. I think the pace will be even higher, and everyone will be very competitive. We’re working hard to have another strong weekend and I hope to enjoy a good qualifying tomorrow.”

Joan Mir: “My feeling is pretty good, but I’m disappointed that we missed out on direct passage to Q2. We lost some time in the first run of the session and then we made some adjustments to the settings, but when it was time to get out for the time attack I could only do one good attempt, which prevented me from getting the tyres and brakes to the optimal temperature: That would have made that tenth of a second difference that kept me out of the Top 10. I feel that my pace can be better because there’s margin to improve, but it will be very hard to come through from Q1 if I have to. Of course I’ll give my best to try and get the best grid position possible.”

TISSOT GRAND PRIX OF DOHA – Combined Classification after DAY1:

  1. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:53.145
  2. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:53.458 +0.313
  3. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 01:53.537 +0.392
  4. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:53.583 +0.438
  5. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 01:53.593 +0.448
  6. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:53.646 +0.501
  7. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:53.699 +0.554
  8. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:53.713 +0.568
  9. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:53.872 +0.727
  10. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – 01:53.914 +0.769
  11. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:53.944 +0.799
  12. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:53.969 +0.824
  13. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:54.012 +0.867
  14. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:54.112 +0.967
  15. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:54.127 +0.982
  16. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:54.148 +1.003
  17. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 01:54.205 +1.060
  18. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:54.237 +1.092
  19. E. BASTIANINI – Esponsorama Racing – 01:54.516 +1.371
  20. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Esponsorama – 01:54.680 +1.535
  21. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:54.971 +1.826
  22. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:55.369 +2.224

Qatar Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

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

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

SUZUKI RIDERS READY TO DO BATTLE IN DOHA MotoGP

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 3.

Grid positions for Doha GP:

Alex Rins: 8th – 1’53.745

Joan Mir: 9th – 1’53.785

The Losail Circuit brought the toughest conditions so far for Saturday afternoon’s FP3 session where strong winds blew sand and dust across the track, making for poor visibility and challenging circumstances for riders and teams alike.

This made it impossible for anybody to improve their lap times for the combined classification. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders, Alex Rins and Joan Mir, utilised the session to fine-tune their GSX-RR machines for the rest of the day, closing FP3 in second and third respectively.

This work continued after night fall and into FP4 where the riders tried the different tyre options and improved their feeling ahead of the all-important qualifying sessions. Mir was third and Rins sixth.

For the second week in a row, Mir did a brilliant job in Q1, setting his quickest lap of the weekend to secure top spot and move through to Q2.

In the final qualifying session, both Suzuki riders focused on fast laps and improved their times once again. This allowed them both to step up once place on the grid compared to last weekend, with Rins taking eighth place and Mir ninth.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager: “Of course it would be better to be a bit higher up the grid, but the third row isn’t bad and we trust that our riders can fight for the podium from there. Once again Joan did well to recover and come through from Q1, and Alex also did well today. Both riders improved one step on the grid. I’m looking forward to seeing the race tomorrow.”

Alex Rins: “Today was a good day, but a bit difficult to find a fast lap because the conditions were very bad with so much sand, so it was hard to improve, but in the end I was still able to get a better grid position than last week with P8. So I think, and I hope, that the race will be even more competitive this time around, and we can have a good battle in the lead group. I’m ready for it.”

Joan Mir: “It has been a positive day and I’m happy with how everything worked out. We managed to graduate from Q1 to Q2 and I improved my lap time on the fresh soft tyres. We still need to work on qualifying; I need to ride in a different way to usual because it doesn’t come naturally to me to push for fast laps, I usually do better doing longer runs of consistent laps. But I’m happy with my grid position, and I was actually close to the second row, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”

TISSOT GRAND PRIX OF DOHA – Qualifying Classification:

  1. J. MARTIN – Pramac Racing – 01:53.106
  2. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 01:53.263 +0.157
  3. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:53.267 +0.161
  4. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:53.303 +0.197
  5. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:53.469 +0.363
  6. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:53.654 +0.548
  7. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:53.705 +0.599
  8. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:53.745 +0.639
  9. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:53.785 +0.679
  10. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:53.794 +0.688
  11. S. BRADL – Repsol Honda Team – 01:54.224 +1.118
  12. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:55.096 +1.990
  13. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Esponsorama – 01:54.228 – Q1
  14. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:54.261 – Q1
  15. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 01:54.402 – Q1
  16. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:54.481 – Q1
  17. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:54.528 – Q1
  18. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:54.555 – Q1
  19. E. BASTIANINI – Esponsorama Racing – 01:54.632 – Q1
  20. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:54.731 – Q1
  21. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:54.881 – Q1
  22. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:55.823 – Q1
    Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

HARD CHARGING DOHA RACE SEES SUZUKI 4TH AND 7TH

Suzuki leading at The Losail Circuit in Qatar

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 4.

TISSOT GRAND PRIX OF DOHA Race Classification:

Alex Rins: 4th (+ 2.088)

Joan Mir: 7th (+ 4.868)

The Losail Circuit in Qatar hosted the second Grand Prix in as many weeks, and this time out the action was even hotter than before with plenty of battles, and a determined display from both Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir both got off to strong starts, slotting their GSX-RRs into fifth and sixth on the first corners. By the third lap of the race, Rins had set the fastest lap of the race and shortly after he moved into third place. Just one lap later he was up into second and achieving another fast lap. Meanwhile, Mir was holding onto a strong sixth place.

Despite pushing for the lead, Rins found himself losing out down the straight against the Ducati riders, but he used his cornering ability to fight back around the rest of the lap.

On the 12th lap of the race Rins made a big save at Turn 9, but this didn’t halt his progress and he remained in podium contention.

On Lap 13 Mir made a move on Jack Miller for fifth place at Turn 10, but the Australian passed him again after making contact in the last corner, which eventually pushed Mir back to ninth. The Mallorcan recovered well from this incident to take a useful seventh place at the chequered flag.

As the laps ticked down, Rins realised that he needed to conserve his tyres to achieve the best position possible; he kept cool to achieve a great fourth place – equaling his best Qatar result in his 65th MotoGP™ race.

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SUZUKI WEEKEND ACTION – April 10TH

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 9.

Following a three-week break from racing, the second weekend in April sees Suzuki teams back on track for Round 13 of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Georgia.

This will be the first of three back-to-back races at the venue in the coming week and Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki’s Max Anstie is back onboard his RM-Z450 alongside Brandon Hartranft, while in the 250cc West series, BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki racers Sean Cantrell and Dilan Schwartz line-up with their RM-Z250 machinery on the RM-Z250.

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SUZUKI BACK IN ACTION AT ATLANTA SUPERCROSS

Suzuki riders returned to Supercross racing at Round 13 of the 2021 Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship in Atlanta, Georgia at the weekend.

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 12.

Suzuki riders returned to Supercross racing at Round 13 of the 2021 Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship in Atlanta, Georgia at the weekend.

This was the first of three back-to-back races at the Atlanta Motor Speedway where Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki’s Max Anstie showed speed on his Suzuki RM-Z450 and ran up front in the 450 class main event on Saturday.

Teammate Adam Enticknap returned from injury with a strong performance aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 race bike while BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki’s Derek Drake entered the series with a strong ride on his Suzuki RM-Z250 alongside rookie Dilan Schwartz and returning teammate Sean Cantrell on their Suzuki RM-Z250 machinery.

Riders had only one 10-minute qualifying session apiece on the high-speed track due to heavy mid-day rains. British rider Anstie ran in fourth place for most of his heat race in the muddy conditions and earned a direct transfer to the main event. Anstie continued to impress in the main, launching off the gate and entering the first turn battling two other riders for the lead and emerging from the corner inside the top five. The track had dried and the outdoor-specialist proved he is hitting his stride in Supercross. But, unfortunately, an early-race incident saw Anstie hit-hard from behind and the resulting crash took him out of the race while in position for a podium finish.

Said Anstie: “It didn’t end as well, but I was making progress each time I was out there. I had a great time today. In the main I felt like I was right in there in the first turn and sat in sixth for the first lap and ended up going down, so it’s the way that it goes. But I’m going to rebuild and hopefully we’ll go again on Tuesday. We’ll see how sore I am in the next few days, but it is what it is. I’ve learned in this sport that what’s taken will be given at some point if you stick at it long enough. It’s going to be all right. I’m looking forward to it. I’m pleased with how I felt on the bike. The end result, we didn’t get where we wanted, but we were right there, so on to Tuesday.”

Crew Chief Clark Jones added: “Going into the main event, everything was good. Max had a top-five start, everything was going really well and then a less-experienced rider rammed into the back of him and took him out for the evening. That was very unfortunate. Max was riding very well this weekend.”

Making his first Supercross appearance in 2021, Derek Drake made the best of his 10-minute qualifying session and came out swinging in his 250 heat race. He ran in a transfer position for much of the race but fell short of a direct transfer to the main event. Drake made the most of his extra time on the track by holeshotting the LCQ and leading for the first 1:45 of the five-minute-plus one lap race before settling for a second place finish. In the main event, Drake didn’t get the start he needed, but slugged-it-out and got his first race of the season completed, still healthy and showing good form.
Said Drake: “The first race back was a solid building block to get the nerves out of the way and get into the main event. At each race I’ll improve and get better!”

Returning from a collarbone and rib injury, Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki 450 class racer Adam Enticknap had a solid day and held steady on the slick and rutted track. The long start straight didn’t work out as well for Enticknap as for the other Suzuki riders, and he found himself climbing through the pack in the LCQ and unable to reach a transfer position before the chequered flag closed his first of three Atlanta races.

Said Enticknap: “I’m back after five weeks of being off. For the first heat race I had a bad start. I tried to make my way through the pack, but the track was super rutted out; it was slimy, it was slick, and there was only one line, so it was hard to make passes and gain time. But it was a really good learning curve for that LCQ. It had stopped raining once the heat races had started and the track actually dried up quite a bit. In the LCQ I double clutched it just a tiny bit off the gate, I rode well in the LCQ, made my way forward. It’s a starting point for coming back from the injuries. It was really, really good to see everyone from H.E.P., be under the tent, be on my Suzuki, and I’m excited to improve and get better throughout these races during the week.”

Returning after a crash at round nine in Daytona, Dilan Schwartz looked great in the dry qualifying session, but the first heat was muddy and slick despite outstanding track prep efforts. After getting ‘pinched off’ going into the first turn, Schwartz was aggressive, moving up seven positions in one lap of the heat, but the rookie missed a direct transfer to the main. Schwartz got a better start in the LCQ but could not make the passes he needed and missed a transfer finish by a few spots.

“Weird day,” described Schwartz. “I felt good in the first timed practice and then the rain came. In the heat race I crashed on the first lap a couple times, but managed to get into a qualifying position, then ended up tipping over again. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the best start in the LCQ so I couldn’t get through to the main but learned a lot last night and I’m looking forward to Tuesday!”

Sean Cantrell returned for his second race of 2021 after an injury at Orlando 2 and qualified second fastest of his group. In the muddy first heat race he reached the first turn with the lead group, but an outside position had riders push him wide on the slick, red Georgia soil. Cantrell showed great technique in the low-traction heat race and also in the LCQ’s improved track conditions but wasn’t able to display his speed in the main.

Said Cantrell: “I was stoked on how I rode in practice and qualified P14 and knew what I needed to do to improve. It rained for the next few hours, which made for a very messy heat race. I was in a qualifying position, but the track was so deceiving that one slight mistake and you were off the track. In the LCQ I didn’t put myself in a good position off the start and I just couldn’t make it happen. I’m taking the good with the bad and looking forward to a dry Atlanta 2.”

The Suzuki teams prepare for whatever conditions Tuesday evening have in store for the second of three rounds on the track that stretches from NASCAR Turn 4 to Turn 1 on the Atlanta Motor Speedway infield. The racers have the speed to pull in great results with only two venues left on the 17-round season.

Championship results and points (amasupercross.com): CLICK HERE

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

MIR’S CREW CHIEF FRANKIE CARCHEDI TO MISS PORTIMÃO GP


Team Suzuki Press Office – April 15.

This weekend’s Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Circuit will see the absence of a key member of Team Suzuki Ecstar following a positive Covid-19 test.

Frankie Carchedi (left of photo), Joan Mir’s Crew Chief, carried out his pre-travel tests and was found to be positive for the virus.

Carchedi has not travelled to Portugal and has instead gone into isolation to prevent any spread of the infection. The rest of the team have received negative results and will be present for the race weekend in Portimão.

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SUZUKI BATTLES HARD AT ATLANTA 2 SUPERCROSS

Suzuki riders fought hard under the lights on a hot Tuesday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway in America for Round 14 of the AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship.

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 15.

Max Anstie: RM-Z450 – 14th

Suzuki riders fought hard under the lights on a hot Tuesday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway in America for Round 14 of the AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship.

Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki’s Max Anstie rebounded from a Saturday crash – the first of three back-to back races in a week at the venue – to show great speed and composure aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450 on the rough track. Anstie’s Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki teammate Adam Enticknap and his Suzuki RM-Z450 held their own throughout the night as Enticknap gained strength since returning to the series at the previous round.

BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki racer Dilan Schwartz notched points on his Suzuki RM-Z250 in his second race back from injury and his teammates Derek Drake and Sean Cantrell had brilliant moments aboard their Suzuki RM-Z250 race bikes on the red clay Georgia soil.

Anstie put in strong, consistent laps through daytime qualifying and into the night of racing, showing his quick adaptation to 450 Supercross racing in his rookie year in the class. He put his Suzuki RM-Z450 directly into the main event from the first heat race, thanks partly to a blazing fast drive off the gate that saw him as the lead rider going into the first turn. When the gate dropped in the main, the Englishman sat just outside the top 10. The track suited his Outdoor and MXGP experience, but he was unable to gain positions. Still, Anstie brought home points and more experience on the unforgiving supercross tracks.

Said Anstie: “We’re back from Saturday. It’s only been a couple of days. I did as much recovery as I could, but yet we did well today. It was okay, I’ll take it and we’ll move forward on to Saturday. The heat race went well. I got a really good start and was riding solid. In each session I went out there, I got better and better. I want to be further up there, but to come away with a 14th, it was okay. We’ll take it. I’ve got some things that we can work on for this Saturday, so I’m looking forward to doing that.”

Enticknap also put in a smart ride on the track that stretched across the raceway’s infield between NASCAR turns four and one. He battled through the hot weather that stayed after the sun had set. He was unable to execute passes during his heat and the LCQ and unfortunately was unable to advance to a transfer position on the historic race night.

Said Enticknap: “I rode an okay heat race, not the best one I’ve ever had then in the LCQ I made a mistake right off the start and caught the edge of the rut with my front wheel, which was a bummer because I’d ‘gotten a really good jump out of the gate. The track was really good all night. My Suzuki was working great; I just need to fix a few tiny things like those starts and be more aggressive during the races. But with everything I’ve got going on; the collarbone, the scapula, and the broken ribs, I really feel like that’s got a lot better and pretty much gone. I feel like every time I get on the bike I’m just getting better and better so I’m really excited for Saturday.”

Said Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki Crew Chief Clark Jones: “Adam rode better, his shoulder’s feeling a lot better. As far as Max goes, everything went really smooth today. He got a really good start and he ended up seventh in the heat race. We made little changes during the day like we normally do, and the bike was the best it was in the main event and Max rode really well. We did take a few minutes after the main event; we went out and we checked out the track, considered different lines to see what the track looked like. He’s getting better every event and I’m pretty excited for Max. This upcoming Saturday will be his best race ever.”

After missing all three Arlington rounds, rookie Dilan Schwartz’s second race back gave him more track experience and one more professional Supercross gate drop. Schwartz made things happen in the LCQ, with two consecutive laps of two positions gained to earn a trip to the main event. The rookie is looking ahead to turning his speed into stronger and stronger finishes.

“It was a big learning day today,” Schwartz said. “I’m feeling more comfortable on the bike. Being new at Supercross I know I just have to put the pieces to the puzzle together and the results should come. I’m looking forward to next Saturday.”

Derek Drake, Schwartz’s BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki teammate, used a strong heat race finish for a direct transfer into the main. Unfortunately, a bad jump off the gate hampered his chances of a strong main event finish even with his strong supercross skills.

Said Drake: “It was a tough night, my second race back after a broken femur four months ago. I just need to race more and keep getting better each race.”

It was a tough night for Sean Cantrell who sat in a transfer position until a rider crashed directly in front of him on the track’s high-speed rhythm section. Cantrell could not avoid getting caught up in the other rider’s mistake and unfortunately ended his night with a crash rather than a spot on the main event starting gate.

“I had a hard time finding the flow of the track during the timed qualifying sessions,” Cantrell said. “I made a couple changes to the bike and did some soul searching before the night show. Unfortunately, I had a little tip over in my heat race, but I was stoked on the changes we made and with my riding. I had to go to the LCQ and was battling for a transfer position until the rider in front of me came up short over the finish line and I had nowhere to go, but land on him. I don’t have any injuries. I’m just a bit beaten up. I’m really looking forward to Saturday. My starts have been great and I’m happy with my Suzuki and my riding; I just need to put it all together.”

The Suzuki teams remain in Georgia for one more Atlanta race this Saturday, then head west to Salt Lake City for the final two rounds of the 2021 Supercross season.

Results and points:CLICK HERE

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SUZUKI WEEKEND ACTION – April 17-18TH

Suzuki Moto GP leading the pack

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 15.

MotoGP™ is back in action for this third weekend of April with Team Suzuki Ecstar on track at the Algarve International Circuit in Portugal.

Round three of the series sees Suzuki’s World Champion Joan Mir and Alex Rins onboard their GSX-RR machinery tomorrow (Friday) for the opening practice sessions following a week’s break from the previous race at Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Rins currently commands fifth position and Mir sixth after two rounds of the 19-round 2021 series.

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR PLACE HIGH IN PORTUGAL FOR DAY 1

Joan Mir: “I said before the start of the Grand Prix that I hadn’t managed to show my potential here last year, or the potential of the bike, but straight away today I felt good. The Suzuki works well at this track and I feel confident after today – I have the sensations that I want and need. The conditions weren’t the best today and it was quite slippery, but I think tomorrow it will improve and everybody will be faster. So today we made sure our base is good and then we just had to adjust little things. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Alex Rins: “Today was a good day, we tried to understand the limits of the track. This morning was tricky because of the wet patches and low grip level, but I was still able to do a good FP1 session. In FP2 everything was dry, so it was a bit easier, but the grip was still not very good. We had planned to test some different rear tyre options, but in the end it wasn’t possible because of the conditions. But the aim was to get into the Top 10 in FP2 to hopefully go through to Q2 tomorrow, and I managed to do that with 4th place, so I’m happy with that. I feel strong on the bike and I’m ready for tomorrow.”

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 16.

The MotoGP™ World Championship got into gear on Friday for the third round of the season at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão.

A damp start to proceedings meant that FP1 had to be taken with caution as the patchy track made setting a fast time tricky. However, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders immediately felt fairly comfortable onboard their GSX-RRs and were able to get down to working on settings. Alex Rins and Joan Mir finished the session in second and 13th.

Despite a few spits of rain before the start of FP2 the session remained dry. All the riders were determined to set a quick time; it was a close and exciting session. Mir and Rins worked hard to ensure their positions inside the Top 10, consistently setting quick laps and defending their places at the sharp end of the timesheet. At the chequered flag Mir was third, and Rins fourth, standing them in good stead ahead of Saturday’s action.

This weekend Mir will be working with Suzuki stalwart Tom O’Kane as his Crew Chief. This is due to the fact his usual Crew Chief, Frankie Carchedi, is absent following a positive Covid-19 result. Despite being isolated in a hotel room, Carchedi and O’Kane are able to converse during the day, with each other and with Mir.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Despite unstable weather in FP1 we were able to manage the session well. Last year we didn’t have good results at this track, but for now everything is working well with our bike and our settings. Joan and Alex are both already in the Top 10, in 3rd and 4th, which is a very good start. These results could be particularly important if the conditions in FP3 will be mixed or wet because we will already be in the Top 10 and Q2. Anyway, I feel confident that we can fight for the podium here.”

GRANDE PRÉMIO 888 DE PORTUGAL – Combined Classification after DAY 1:

1 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team 1’39.866
2 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’40.206 0.340 / 0.340
3 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.285 0.419 / 0.079
4 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’40.328 0.462 / 0.043

5 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team 1’40.336 0.470 / 0.008
6 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’40.339 0.473 / 0.003
7 Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’40.426 0.560 / 0.087
8 Johann ZARCO Pramac Racing 1’40.490 0.624 / 0.064
9 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’40.592 0.726 / 0.102
10 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’40.611 0.745 / 0.019
11 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL 1’40.732 0.866 / 0.121
12 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team 1’40.743 0.877 / 0.011
13 Luca MARINI SKY VR46 Avintia 1’40.761 0.895 / 0.018
14 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.907 1.041 / 0.146
15 Valentino ROSSI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’41.125 1.259 / 0.218
16 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’41.140 1.274 / 0.015
17 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’41.183 1.317 / 0.043
18 Danilo PETRUCCI Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 1’41.187 1.321 / 0.004
19 Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’41.216 1.350 / 0.029
20 Enea BASTIANINI Avintia Esponsorama 1’41.836 1.970 / 0.620
21 Iker LECUONA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 1’42.461 2.595 / 0.625
22 Jorge MARTIN Pramac Racing 1’42.921 3.055 / 0.46
Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

FRONT ROW START AT THE ROLLERCOASTER FOR RINS, MIR 9TH

Alex Rins: “It’s always important to start as far up the grid as possible, but of course the front row is the best and I’m happy to be here in 2nd place. I pushed really hard and I felt great on the bike, and this encourages me for tomorrow because I feel that I can get a good start and be with the front group from the start. The race won’t be easy, because Fabio and the others have a lot of pace, but I’m ready for it.”

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 17.

Grid positions for Portuguese GP:

Alex Rins: 2nd – 1’38.951
Joan Mir: 9th – 1’39.398

Saturday’s sunshine brought ideal conditions for the FP3 session in Portugal that meant Friday’s times were dropping and the riders had to fight for direct passage to Q2. Team Suzuki Ecstar’s riders were on good form, putting in some quick laps. Alex Rins was able to finish the session inside the Top 10 with fifth, and Joan Mir was a few tenths of a second behind in 12th.

FP4 saw the usual plan; the Suzuki pairing trying the tyre options and putting in race simulations. They closed this session with Mir in 10th and Rins in 12th.

Mir did a brilliant job in Q1, bringing his lap times down and holding onto a crucial second place to allow him into final qualifying. This last session of the day saw tight times and plenty of drama and Rins and Mir were determined from the get-go, feeling strong with their GSX-RR machines.

On Rins’ final flying lap he got himself into an excellent front row position with third, meanwhile Mir was in 10th. But in the final moments of qualifying Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia had a lap cancelled due to a yellow flag infringement and this promoted the Suzuki riders to second and ninth – their best qualifying of the season so far and the first front row start since the European GP last November.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“Today Alex continued with his good pace and good rhythm, and this meant he could set a strong time in FP3 and go straight into final qualifying where he managed to get the front row, which makes us very happy. Joan struggled a little bit in FP3 so he had to fight through from Q1, but he did a very good job as usual. The third row for Joan isn’t perfect, but we’re satisfied that he can have a good race tomorrow, as can Alex.”

Joan Mir: “Being outside of the Top 10 always makes it tougher because you have to come through from Q1 and for sure that’s not ideal because you have one less tyre available. We had good speed and I felt good, but it’s harder when you’ve already used up one tyre. Anyway, my race pace is strong and I feel confident for tomorrow, but it’s the same story as always; I’ll have to work hard at the start to recover positions. I’ll do the best job I can and I’m excited to race here.”

GRANDE PRÉMIO 888 DE PORTUGAL – Qualifying Classification:

1 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’38.862
2 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’38.951 0.089 / 0.089
3 Johann ZARCO Pramac Racing 1’38.991 0.129 / 0.040
4 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team 1’39.061 0.199 / 0.070
5 Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’39.103 0.241 / 0.042
6 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’39.121 0.259 / 0.018
7 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’39.169 0.307 / 0.048
8 Luca MARINI SKY VR46 Avintia 1’39.386 0.524 / 0.217
9 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’39.398 0.536 / 0.012
10 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’39.445 0.583 / 0.047
11 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team 1’39.482 0.620 / 0.037
12 Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’39.807 0.945 / 0.325
13 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL 1’39.530 Q1
14 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team 1’39.710 Q1
15 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’39.776 Q1
16 Enea BASTIANINI Avintia Esponsorama 1’39.855 Q1
17 Valentino ROSSI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’39.943 Q1
18 Danilo PETRUCCI Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 1’40.202 Q1
19 Iker LECUONA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing 1’40.408 Q1
20 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’40.444 Q1
30 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU
Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SUZUKI AND MIR CLAIM FIRST PODIUM OF THE YEAR IN PORTUGAL

Suzuki and Joan Mir claim first podium of the year

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 18.

GRANDE PRÉMIO 888 DE PORTUGAL

Race Classification:

Joan Mir: 3rd (+ 4.948)
Alex Rins: DNF

Perfect conditions in Portimão set the tone for a dramatic and hard-fought third round of the MotoGP™ World Championship, one in which Team Suzuki Ecstar had mixed fortunes but came out with a first podium of the season.

Alex Rins and Joan Mir both got off to brilliant starts in the 25 lap race; with Rins attempting to grab the holeshot and slotting into a strong second place, and Mir close behind in fourth, swiftly sweeping into third and making up six places from his grid position.

The Suzuki pairing were hot on the heels of the race leader, feeling confident with their GSX-RRs and aiming to chase podium positions. As Fabio Quartararo took over the race lead, Rins was ready to tail him. Meanwhile, Mir was doing a good job of defending a podium place. By the 11th lap Rins and Mir were holding a strong second and third.

The pace at the front was phenomenal, and as race leader Quartararo set a string of fast laps, Rins in second was doing an excellent job matching and bettering them, creating an enthralling battle. On Lap 18 the Suzuki rider achieved a new lap record, a blistering 1’39.450, but just one lap later he tucked the front at Turn 5 and suffered a small crash. A disappointing end for Rins who had been running a great race.

Mir continued to battle on impressively, determined to place on the podium. Despite a late charge from Franco Morbidelli, Mir was able to defend very well and bring Suzuki its first podium of 2021 with third.

Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader and Team Director:

“It was a difficult race with very fast pace at the front. Joan did a great job to get the podium, and even though he struggled a little bit he kept fighting and got a very nice 3rd place. So I’m very happy for Joan, then on the other hand it was a shame for Alex that he crashed out, but he also showed a great performance and we know we can see both riders on the podium soon.”

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“I’m happy because we’ve managed to come back to the podium and that is a great thing, but it was a mixed day for us. Alex worked very hard and was very strong, we were confident that he could finish on the podium, so it was a real pity that he crashed. Joan got a podium despite a very difficult race and it was fantastic to achieve this in the first European round. We’re hoping to fight for the top places again in Jerez.”

Joan Mir: “I expected that I could have good race pace, because in Warm-Up this morning I felt very strong, but I didn’t expect to have trouble in the middle of the race. I’m not sure why, but I started to struggle with the front of the bike, which is something we have to check and learn from. But overall I’m happy because we put together a strong weekend and I managed a podium at a track which isn’t the best for me. I’m looking forward to Jerez and hopefully getting another good result there, although it will be a very competitive race for sure.”

Alex Rins: “Of course I’m a bit disappointed. I was behind Fabio and I was pushing and going to the limit, but it felt like a good limit and I didn’t feel like I was over the limit at any point. I was managing it all well; the tyres, the breathing, the pace, everything. We checked the data after the crash and I had done everything the same, so it was strange to crash. But anyway, I had a good feeling all weekend and although it’s a shame that I couldn’t finish with a trophy, at least I know I have very good pace and the bike works well. My team and I know that if we can keep the same way of working into Jerez, we can have a very nice result.”

GRANDE PRÉMIO 888 DE PORTUGAL MotoGP Race Classification:

1 Fabio QUARTARARO Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 41’46.412
2 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati Lenovo Team +4.809
3 Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR +4.948
4 Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT +5.127
5 Brad BINDER Red Bull KTM Factory Racing +6.668
6 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +8.885
7 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team +13.208
8 Alex MARQUEZ LCR Honda CASTROL +17.992
9 Enea BASTIANINI Avintia Esponsorama +22.369
10 Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU +23.676
11 Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP +23.761
12 Luca MARINI SKY VR46 Avintia +29.660
13 Danilo PETRUCCI Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +29.836
14 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia Racing Team Gresini +38.941
15 Iker LECUONA Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing +50.642
16 Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1 Lap
Not Classified:
5 Johann ZARCO Pramac Racing 6 Laps
42 Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 7 Laps
46 Valentino ROSSI Petronas Yamaha SRT 11 Laps
43 Jack MILLER Ducati Lenovo Team Ducati 20 Laps
44 Pol ESPARGARO Repsol Honda Team 21 Laps

 MotoGP™ World Standings:

1 Fabio QUARTARARO Yamaha 61
2 Francesco BAGNAIA Ducati 46
3 Maverick VIÑALES Yamaha 41
4 Johann ZARCO Ducati 40
5 Joan MIR Suzuki 38
6 Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia 25
7 Alex RINS Suzuki 23
8 Brad BINDER KTM 21
9 Enea BASTIANINI Ducati 18
10 Jorge MARTIN Ducati 17
11 Franco MORBIDELLI Yamaha 17
12 Jack MILLER Ducati 14
13 Pol ESPARGARO Honda 11
14 Marc MARQUEZ Honda 9
15 Alex MARQUEZ Honda 8
16 Stefan BRADL Honda 7
17 Takaaki NAKAGAMI Honda 6
18 Luca MARINI Ducati 4
19 Valentino ROSSI Yamaha 4
20 Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM 4
21 Danilo PETRUCCI KTM 3
22 Lorenzo SAVADORI Aprilia 2
23 Iker LECUONA KTM 1

Championship points (round-by-round): CLICK HERE

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SUZUKI ROOKIE SCHWARTZ EARNS TOP-10 AT ATLANTA SX

Schwartz: “Yesterday was a step in the right direction. I struggled all day with the track but got a good start in the main. I was able to run up front in the main and I ended up with a top-10 finish. I’m looking forward to Salt Lake!”

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 19.

Dilan Schwartz: RM-Z250 – 9th
Max Anstie: RM-Z450 – 16th

Suzuki riders had impressive speed at round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross series with 250 class rookie BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki’s Dilan Schwartz landing a top-10 finish on his Suzuki RM-Z250 in only his fourth professional main event Supercross start.

Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki’s Max Anstie continued to show blazing speed in his rookie year in the 450 class aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450; his teammates Brandon Hartranft and Adam Enticknap both displaying grit and talent in their main event rides aboard RM-Z450s.

Schwartz’s BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki teammates Sean Cantrell and Derek Drake also put in great performances on their Suzuki RM-Z250 race bikes.

Schwartz fought back from a mid-pack start in his heat race at the final of three races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Though he missed a direct transfer position, the rookie showed great form in the LCQ where he finished on the podium. In the main event, Schwartz had the strongest supercross performance of his young career. On the re-start, due to a red flag delay, he emerged in seventh position at the holeshot stripe. He advanced to sixth place within the first three minutes of racing until an incident dropped him back, then charged forward and made passes late into the race to earn his career-first top-10 finish in his rookie year of professional Supercross. The finish bumped him up six spots in the championship points standings.

Anstie again impressed with his quick adaptation to the 450 Supercross class. After a 15th place start in heat two, Anstie put on a charge to pass seven riders and earn a direct transfer to the main event. A mid-pack start in the main hampered the fast racer’s progression up the results board, but a strong ride gave Anstie better footing in the premier Supercross class with two more rounds remaining on the season.

Anstie: “The track was definitely tough, but we’re learning. We’re learning each time we’re out there. The team and I are definitely making steps forward. I would have liked to have been further up, obviously, but we pushed as hard as we could. We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and get ready go again for the Salt Lake races.”

Enticknap was inside the top five at the start of the LCQ and was the rider on the move, quickly slicing through the pack to earn a second-place finish. A mistake off the starting gate in the main event ended Enticknap’s hopes of a top finish, but the rider stayed strong in the third race in eight days since his return from an injury, showing that he’s gaining strength as well as track speed and ready for the final two rounds of 2021.

Enticknap said: “I felt better even though I had that little crash [in qualifying]. In heat one I had a great start; my H.E.P. Twisted Tea Suzuki got out of the hole really well. I ended up finishing 10th, one spot out of the main, so I had first gate pick in the LCQ. I got a good start in the LCQ and made some good passes and finished in second place. In the main, the track became really rough and really rutted. By the end, the whoops were just unbelievable; I haven’t seen anything like that. Overall, it was a building night toward the last two rounds in Salt Lake City and it’s definitely good to feel better and better the more I race.”

After missing the first two Atlanta 450 races, Hartranft put his speed to good use at the third visit to the high-speed track. In the LCQ, he put his RM-Z450 into the top three at the holeshot line and battled with several riders at the front including teammate Enticknap. After running in second place for most of the race, Hartranft earned a direct transfer to the main with a third-place finish. In the main event he charged hard, advancing through the pack until trouble on lap six thwarted his progress. The 450 class rookie ended the night having shown impressive speed and the ability to pass and is poised for his strongest finishes in the remaining two rounds.

“I executed well in the beginning of the LCQ. I was in second and was going to make the pass for first when the leader went down in the whoops right in front of me. I actually had to jump over his bike, but I clipped his wheel and almost went down. Because of that, I dropped back to third. In the main event I had an okay start. When I tried quadding-out of the whoops I caught an edge and went off the side of the track right before the tunnel jump. I had to go around the starting line in the infield and then shoot back onto the start stretch. My goal was to pass the guys that had just passed me. I got around one rider but didn’t get the other one. All in all, it was a good day for a return ride and I’m looking forward to next weekend.”

Said Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports/ Suzuki Crew Chief Clark Jones: “Atlanta Three went well. It was good to have Brandon back. All three of our riders rode well today. They’re all safe, and we’re all ready to go to Salt Lake City. I would’ve liked to have seen all three of them do better in the main event, they’re totally capable, but it was just one of those nights.”

In his 250 heat race Cantrell got a good jump off the gate and put in an aggressive charge down the start straight. He was into second at the first corner, but officially third at the holeshot stripe. From there the young racer impressed in his return to the sport after stepping away from racing in 2020. Cantrell kept his BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki RM-Z250 in a podium spot until mid-race when he lost a single position. Cantrell used a fourth-place finish for a direct transfer to the main event with a good gate pick. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to duplicate his ability to put his Suzuki RM-Z250’s power to the ground on the start straight and a poor starting position relegated Cantrell to a finish outside the top 10 despite showing that his speed is returning after his time off.

Said Cantrell: “What a day! We went stiffer on the rear shock for the night show and it definitely was the right decision. I got fourth place out of my heat race and I was very happy with my riding. It was my first main even in two years, so it was a little strange being back out there. Riders were going down left and right. There were riders and bikes laying in the middle of the track; I’ve never seen anything like it! I had my own little mishap in the whoops, but I’m taking a lot of positives from the day.”

Drake wrapped-up the Atlanta triple-header with a thrilling LCQ ride. Going into the first corner he was right behind teammate Schwartz. They were both inside the top four as the pack swept out of the first corners and down the first rhythm lane. Within two minutes Drake made the pass into a podium position and the Suzuki teammates both sat inside the top three. With under a minute on the clock, Drake mis-timed a tricky rhythm section and the mistake took him off the track. He re-entered safely but lost one position and put himself under attack from another rider behind. Drake dropped just outside of a transfer spot despite a good recovery from the incident and showed great speed all night.

“At Atlanta three I struggled with the pace and the fast track,” explained Drake after the dust had settled. “I just need to have some more time under my belt.”

After 15 rounds, comprised mostly of triple-header events, the Suzuki teams travel to Salt Lake City and Rice-Eccles Stadium on April 24th and May 1st to conclude the 2021 Supercross season with a final double-header.

Championship points (after 15 of 17 rounds): CLICK HERE

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SUZUKI EXTENDS AGREEMENT WITH DORNA TO COMPETE IN MOTOGP

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 20.

Suzuki Motor Corporation is pleased to announce that an agreement has been signed with series promoter Dorna to renew their involvement in the MotoGP™ World Championship for the period ranging from the 2022 season to the 2026 season.

As a consequence of this, Suzuki Motor Corporation will deploy its Factory Team – actually known as Team Suzuki Ecstar – in the MotoGP™ World Championship’s MotoGP™ class.

Suzuki’s racing story began in 1960 with an entry into the Isle of Man’s legendary Tourist Trophy, and last year the brand from Hamamatsu in Japan celebrated their 100th Anniversary, alongside the milestone of 60 years in racing. The news that Suzuki’s factory journey will continue is extremely positive, especially following a highly successful period which culminated in brilliant results last year; Suzuki’s Spanish pairing of Joan Mir and Alex Rins took 1st and 3rd in the championship standings, meaning the excellent achievement of winning both the MotoGP™ Riders’ and Teams’ titles.

Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader and Team Director:

“As Suzuki Motor Corporation we are proud to continue to compete in the MotoGP™ World Championship, as we all share the challenging ambition of measuring ourselves against the top motorcycling competition in the world. We started this new journey in 2015 and in only six years we achieved the Riders’ World title, together with the Teams’ title, and we are still hungry for more success. For these reasons we have extended our agreement with Dorna, with the hope and the commitment to continue the development of the technical and racing sides of the company.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta – Dorna CEO:

“We are very happy with the renewal of the agreement with Suzuki, a factory with which we have been riding along for years in the World Championship and enjoy a great cooperation. Their return to MotoGP in 2015 was immediately proved a success and confirmed with the culmination of winning the World Title in 2020 with Joan Mir, we proudly extend this partnership and hope to continue setting milestones with this iconic brand.”

SUZUKI WEEKEND ACTION – April 24TH

Team Suzuki rider making a jump

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 22.

The fourth weekend of April sees the penultimate round of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah for the first race of a double-header at the venue.

The Twisted Tea/ H.E.P. Motorsports Suzuki team will be onboard the RM-Z450 machinery and BarX/ Chaparral/ ECSTAR Suzuki will be in action with the RM-Z250 race bikes for the eighth and final round of the East Championship.

April 24:
 Round 16. AMA/ FIM World Supercross. Rice-Eccles Stadium. Salt Lake City. Utah. USA.

Many or all photograph credit goes to to www.suzuki-racing.com with our thanks!

SPANISH GP THE NEXT STOP FOR SOLID SUZUKI SQUAD

mgp3joan-mir20

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 28.

The fourth round of the fast and furious 2021 MotoGP™ World Championship will take place this weekend at the well-known and well-loved circuit of Jerez – Angel Nieto.

Joan Mir comes into the Spanish GP fresh from a great podium, achieved last time out in Portugal. The Mallorcan battled his way through to take an important rostrum spot, Suzuki’s first of the season, with third place. Mir is a fan of the Jerez track, even though it hasn’t always been kind to him in the past. However, a previous podium in Moto3 and a fifth place in the MotoGP™ class here last year show that he has plenty of potential to bring another top finish home.

mgp3alex-rinsr11

Alex Rins also has some painful memories from the circuit, as it was the scene of his nasty shoulder injury last year, but in 2019 he achieved a second place and it’s a track he really enjoys. Rins will be looking to put a troublesome Portuguese GP behind him where he crashed out after a brilliant battle at the head of the race. He is determined to really kick start his season with a podium at home in Spain.

The Circuit of Jerez – Angel Nieto is nestled on the outskirts of the city famous as the birthplace of sherry. With its rich Andalucian culture, glorious spring sunshine and lovely scenery it’s always a highlight of the early part of the season. The track itself was built 35 years ago and the complex layout of tight turns coupled with sweeping bends and a couple of short straights always makes for an enticing event.

Shinichi Sahara – Project Leader & Team Director:

“During the last race weekend in Portugal we were able to show our potential really well; Alex had an unfortunate DNF, but he was fighting at the front for the whole race, and Joan managed a really nice podium place. We know we have a strong bike and two strong riders, and we’re hoping to show this more and more with every race weekend. Now we’re in Jerez, a circuit which both riders like and which could also be well suited to our bike, so we’re really keen to see what we can do this weekend.”

mgp3joan-mirr11

Joan Mir:

“I was really pleased to be on the podium in Portugal, and I want to match this result and better it, my goal is to be in the top three every race if possible! Here at Jerez I think our bike can be strong, and it’s a circuit I like a lot, but I’m also expecting the competition level to be really high – even more than normal – because all the riders know this circuit very well and in general the level is extremely high this year. But as usual I will aim to put in the best performance possible and bring Suzuki a nice result and a bunch of points.”

mgp3alex-rinsr4

Alex Rins:

“It’s so nice to arrive here in Jerez in good shape, last year was very hard with my injury and it’s a great feeling to come back here fully fit. I’m confident with the way the bike is working at the moment, and this is a circuit that I like a lot. For sure it will be a very intense weekend with a lot of riders being very competitive, but I’m excited to put any bad memories behind me and get a great result.”

TOP TIMES FOR BUILDBASE SUZUKI IN BSB TEST

bsbsilverstone-test--danny-kent4

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 29.

Buildbase Suzuki’s Danny Kent and Gino Rea both finished the first pre-season test at Silverstone in the UK today ahead of the 2021 Bennetts British Superbike Championship inside the top six.

Kent was an impressive P3 while their teammate in the Pirelli National Superstock Championship, Tim Neave, topped the time sheets aboard his GSX-R1000R.

For former Moto3 World Champion Kent the two-day test was about getting comfortable with his new GSX-R1000R Superbike, as he makes the switch from Superstock machinery. Despite ocassional appearances on a Superbike in recent years, 2021 marks the start of a full-time campaign, and while there is still learning to be done, by his own admission, ending the test P3 on the time sheets has served as a welcome confidence boost.

As the comparable Superbike veteran, Rea had a dedicated testing schedule to follow over the course of the two days, evaluating a new engine spec from Suzuki Motor Corporation in Japan as well as electronics settings, with a focus on power delivery and engine braking. Despite a clear focus on development, he still set the sixth fastest time of the two days.

bsbsilverstone-test--danny-kent1

Danny Kent:

“I’ve got to be happy with that at the end of the day. This, really, was my first proper go on a Superbike with a good team around me that know the bike and have the experience, so to come away in the top three; it feels good. I was a bit worried; you have thoughts about if you’ll be fast enough when it comes to it and people have asked that question of me – and understandably maybe – but I think today’s answered those questions, and confidence is pretty high at the moment.

“The objective at this test was to just get comfortable, and I wanted to come away feeling like the bike was mine, and we definitely achieved that. The bike felt great and the team have done a really good job. They’ve got so much experience at this level I just rode the bike and let them make any changes they wanted to make. The result was it made doing the lap times so easy and I think with a more experienced rider than me onboard it could easily have topped the times. I just kept making the odd mistake when pushing hard and I’d over ride and do the wrong things to go fast. So I’ve got a bit of learning to do still but I think I could have gone faster. Plus we lost nearly two sessions with a crash on Wednesday morning.

“Being at Silverstone made it easier as I know that track, and I know it’ll be harder at Snetterton. But I also know the bike can go fast there. It’s just going to be a case of putting the laps in, learning the circuit, the bike, and keep building that connection. For the first day back it feels pretty good.”

bsbsilverstone-test--gino-rea2

Gino Rea:

“This test has been really good, and it was just nice to be back with the team and back on the Superbike after a long winter off. We had a lot to test and a lot to get through, and day one was pretty much dedicated to working on the electronics and we didn’t do much to the chassis. Today [Thursday] we focussed on that a bit more, and the biggest change there for me is the new Suter swingarm, so we spent time getting that dialled in.

“With a lot to get through it’s really hard not to look at the times and see what people are doing, but we kept our focus on the job, and it’s actually been really nice for me to have a test – I missed this test last year – to put the laps in and work on the bike and not worry about the times so much. But today we did push on a bit, nothing crazy, but to see what the package was capable of. We didn’t chuck the super soft tyre in that some people used, but considering we were doing a lot of testing I think we were competitive and consistent, and the two days couldn’t really have gone much better.

“The test at Snetterton, I think will be similar; we still have some areas to work on with the electronics, so that’s still my focus, but then we’ll go from there.”

In the hotly-contested Pirelli National Superstock Championship Neave ended the test P1, just half a second off his own lap record despite the colder and windier conditions. Minor changes to the electronics setup were the only changes, as he spent the test putting in the laps to get himself back up to speed.

bsbsilverstone-test--tim-neave2

Tim Neave:

“I’m really chuffed, and I wasn’t expecting it to be honest, I was just taking my time, letting it come to me, and after a few laps I saw P1 and got a big buzz. So it’s a good start to the year and can’t really ask for more. The bike setup is the same as last year, which is good for me. We didn’t make one change all day apart from a new tyre at the end. We knew we had a good setting from last year so we just left it. And I think we could have got nearer the lap record were it not for the wind; it was so strong it was hard to pull fifth down the start finish straight.

“Hopefully we’ll pick up where we left off at Snetterton, and if we can be in the top five consistently all year, then I think we can fight for wins week in, week out. This test has lifted a bit of a weight off my shoulders to be honest and I feel more relaxed; I’m in a perfect environment with the team, the bike’s working well, and I know we can be at the front.”

A number of other Hawk Racing supported riders were also present on a fleet of GSX-R superstock machines, including Tom Ward, Tom Oliver, and Leon Jeacock, while former Buildbase Suzuki superbike rider and British Supersport champion Luke Stapleford was also in action.

PACE HOTS UP BY THE SECOND ON DAY 1 IN JEREZ

mgp4alex-rins10



Team Suzuki Press Office – April 30.

Alex Rins: 8th – 1’37.847 (+ 0.638)
Joan Mir: 13th – 1’38.040 (+ 0.831)

The Circuit of Jerez – Angel Nieto has welcomed the MotoGP™ paddock for the fourth round of the 2021 Championship, and the classic Spanish GP is sure to be a wild one, with perfect weather and tight times due to dominate proceedings.

Team Suzuki Ecstar got off to a steady start in the morning’s FP1, which saw much cooler conditions than last year’s summer slot at the circuit. Joan Mir had a few issues which delayed him joining the action, but after that both he and Alex Rins reported good feelings onboard their GSX-RRs and they were able to close the session, which saw the top 19 covered by one second, in 10th and 14th respectively.

Conditions were optimum for FP2, and the Suzuki pair set about putting in some long consistent runs, gradually bringing down their lap times, before doing a short time attack at the end of the session. Both Mir and Rins managed to get themselves into the Top 10 with just minutes to go, but they were shuffled back a few places by the time the chequered flag was out, the team closed Friday with Rins in eighth and Mir in 13th.

Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager:

“The first day in Jerez has been so-so for us due to a few issues in FP1 and that delayed our work on the settings. But we were able to make up for this in FP2 and the riders began to prepare for the race, and we were quite happy with the feelings and pace. There are still more improvements to make so we’ll work on this in the morning and in FP3 we’ll try to do some fast flying laps.”

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Alex Rins:

“It was a good day and I finished up in eighth, although I expected that I would be closer to my rivals when I put the soft tyre in, and able to set a slightly faster lap. But I’m ready to push again tomorrow. This morning in FP1 I was struggling a bit with the bike, but we fixed the issue and I felt good after that. I think tomorrow will be very close, and even FP3 will be like a qualifying session!”

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Joan Mir:

“We had some trouble at the start of the day with the electronics on the bike, and I lost a bit of time, so I ended up doing a lot of laps on the medium tyre and I didn’t really get the chance to do a time attack with a soft tyre. But even on the used tyre my feeling was quite good and I’m happy about that. Bike problems are all part of the game, and we solved it quickly, so I’m ready for tomorrow.”

GRAN PREMIO RED BULL DE ESPAÑA – Combined Classification after DAY1:

1. F. BAGNAIA – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:37.209
2. F. QUARTARARO – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:37.387 +0.178
3. A. ESPARGARO – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:37.646 +0.437
4. F. MORBIDELLI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:37.704 +0.495
5. M. VIÑALES – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP – 01:37.726 +0.517
6. T. NAKAGAMI – LCR Honda IDEMITSU – 01:37.775 +0.566
7. M. OLIVEIRA – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:37.816 +0.607
8. A. RINS – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:37.847 +0.638
9. J. ZARCO – Pramac Racing – 01:37.888 +0.679
10. B. BINDER – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing – 01:37.896 +0.687
11. S. BRADL – Honda HRC – 01:37.939 +0.730
12. J. MILLER – Ducati Lenovo Team – 01:37.965 +0.756
13. J. MIR – Team SUZUKI ECSTAR – 01:38.040 +0.831
14. P. ESPARGARO – Repsol Honda Team – 01:38.115 +0.906
15. L. MARINI – SKY VR46 Avintia – 01:38.274 +1.065
16. M. MARQUEZ – Repsol Honda Team – 01:38.291 +0.278
17. D. PETRUCCI – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:38.462 +1.253
18. E. BASTIANINI – Avintia Esponsorama – 01:38.516 +1.307
19. L. SAVADORI – Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – 01:38.594 +1.385
20. A. MARQUEZ – LCR Honda CASTROL – 01:38.618 +1.409
21. V. ROSSI – Petronas Yamaha SRT – 01:38.698 +1.489
22. I. LECUONA – Tech 3 KTM Factory Racing – 01:38.713 +1.504
23. T. RABAT – Pramac Racing – 01:39.023 +1.814

SUZUKI WEEKEND ACTION – MAY 1-2ND

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 30.

The opening weekend of May sees Team Suzuki Ecstar back on track in Jerez, Spain for Round 4 of the MotoGP™ World Championship.

Following initial Free Practice sessions today at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, World Champion Joan Mir and teammate Alex Rins head into Saturday’s final FP3 and FP4 sessions aboard their GSX-RR machinery before qualifying ahead of Sunday’s race.

This weekend, in America, hosts the final 17th round of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM Supercross Championship at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Utah and also the opening round of the MotoAmerica AMA Superbike Championship at Road Atlanta, Georgia.

May 2: Round 4. MotoGP™. Circuito de Jerez. Jerez. Spain.
May 1: Round 17. Monster Energy AMA/ FIM Supercross. Rice-Eccles Stadium. Utah. USA.
May 1-2: Round 1. MotoAmerica AMA Superbikes. Michelin Raceway. Road Atlanta. Georgia. USA.


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