The Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto saw electrifying action in the morning’s FP3 session as the riders fought it out for a final chance to secure a place in Q2. The Top 14 riders were covered by just half a second as the chequered flag came out, but Joan Mir and Alex Rins worked hard throughout FP3, finishing an excellent 5th and 6th respectively.
The Team SUZUKI ECSTAR pair continued their good work into the afternoon’s FP4, trying a variety of tyres and putting in laps with a race set-up.
Alex and Joan made a strong start to the 15-minute session, but later found themselves slightly shuffled down the order. Alex Rins lost out in the 3rd sector but felt quick and confident over the first two sectors. He finished just 0.471 seconds from the pole, in 9th place. Joan Mir, meanwhile, was 0.634 seconds off and will start one row behind his team-mate, in 12th.
“We did a good job today, improving the lap time a lot compared to yesterday – which was our plan. In qualifying I tried to give 100% but I didn’t really feel very good with the front tyre that I used. But the third row and 9th place isn’t so bad, and I think I can have a good race anyway. It will be really nice to ride in front of the Spanish fans.”
“I thought I could get a bit higher on the grid, and I feel that 12th doesn’t show our real potential today, especially as I was fast in FP3 and FP4. In general, I’m very happy with my feeling on the bike, and yesterday we made a step forward. But in qualifying my feeling was really different and I couldn’t match my lap times from the morning, so we need to find out why that was. We need to improve, but I’m looking forward to the race.”