• #alexrins carves through for a superb Top 5 finish.
• #joanmir forced to retire with rear grip issues.
• Team SUZUKI #ecstar maintain positivity heading to Round 3.
The Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in #argentina offered up a tense and excitable atmosphere on Sunday with its many passionate fans. #alexrins and #joanmir had a tricky task ahead of them after struggles in qualifying, but the determined duo showed improved pace in the morning warm-up.
As the lights went out, the track temperature rose to 41c and tyre longevity was set to play a key role in race management. A steady start from #alexrins saw him hovering around the Top 12, whilst #joanmir after a good start progressively dropped down to 17th in a couple of laps.
Highly motivated to take a strong result at one of his favourite tracks, Rins didn’t let up and continued a push through the field. The Spaniard had already gained six places on his grid spot after seven laps. After setting a best lap, Alex found himself fighting within the lead group with 10 laps to go. Keeping his head and riding smoothly, Rins fought his way towards podium contention and eventually took an excellent 5th place.
Meanwhile, rookie #joanmir got away well but soon suffered with severe lack of feeling and grip on the rear tyre. As the 25 lap race neared its conclusion, Joan was forced to pull into pit lane, and he unfortunately retired from the Argentinian GP.
Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager
“Yesterday’s qualifying was a bit of a disaster for both our riders, but Alex recovered really well today and I’m very happy with his performance and the overall performance of the whole team. We had a good chance of a podium here, but given the circumstances we’re very pleased with 5th place. We are sorry that Joan wasn’t able to show his potential and could not finish the race. We’ll be back to fight again at the next race.”
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
“In the end the race was very exciting with Alex, he made an unbelievable recovery and came very close to the podium once again. This time it was very difficult because of the grid position, but his result shows how competitive we can be. Alex turned a bad Saturday into a good Sunday. Unfortunately Joan suffered a problem with the rear tyre which we’re still investigating, he couldn’t ride properly or push. It’s a pity for him, but we’ll look forward to Texas.”
“The race was incredible, I didn’t make any mistakes which was amazing given how slippery and tricky the track was. I really need to improve my grid positions in the next races, so I’m aiming for better qualifying sessions because my starting position really cost me today. But I’m happy to bring home a Top 5 for myself and the team.”
“We’re still in the process of checking what happened today, but I didn’t feel good with the rear grip right from the beginning of the race. I made a decent start, and when I was behind Alex I was ready to try and go with him through the pack. It would have been good to learn from him and work together. This is the first time I’ve pulled into pitlane in my career, but I was really feeling something strange from the rear end.”
Further information in the press release to download
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