First day of the second Qatar GP for Suzuki. The 2020 world champion team managed to bring Alex Rins into tomorrow’s Q2 while Joan Mir finished his day in 13th place and, tomorrow morning, he’ll need a super time to try to enter the top ten of the combined ranking. What went wrong in today’s FP2?
“The team made a strategic mistake,” Mir said. “They mounted an already heated tire from the last GP and then called me back to the pits to change it, but it was too late. Those tires, which we all have, are less performing than the completely new ones, and every detail counts at these levels.”
Do you think you’ll have the strength to improve your time in the FP3 tomorrow?
“I don’t know. Compared to last week, we haven’t found important solutions to improve my flying lap. We have to take some steps forward with the bike to try to solve this problem. Today I think I suffered like never before in my time attack. Tomorrow, I don’t know what will happen, but I have some room for improvement compared to today’s weather, and I’ll try to give it my all if I have to go through the Q1.”
What will your race be if you start from the rear?
“I’ll have to risk more in the first lap.”
Alex Rins: “We’re all really close”
Who, on the other hand, should have secured his participation in the Q2 is Alex Rins, who finished 8th in the combined ranking this Friday in the Doha GP. What were your sensations?
“Obviously I'm happy to be in the Q2, but we’re all really close. Today the track conditions bothered me a lot, very different from last week. I couldn’t find the right sensations with the rear and with grip in general. The weather should improve tomorrow. We obviously would prefer to have some wind because, in that case, the Ducatis will suffer more.”
How do you judge your race pace and your flying lap?
“From the point of view of the time attack, I’m fully satisfied while, as regard to the pace, today was an interesting day. In the FP2, I went fast with soft tires. I did seven laps on it at a good pace. I don’t know what changed, but I was able to brake later and accelerate earlier.”
Problems with the flying lap for Suzuki. Is it possible to improve this area a lot or is it the bike?
“I started with Suzuki in 2017 and have always pushed to improve my qualifying. Obviously, some tracks are better than others, but I think it’s the bike, and I can agree with those who say that Suzuki’s philosophy penalizes it on Saturday. Obviously, we must not give up and keep pushing to take our limit a little higher.”