San Marino played host to the 13th round of the 2019 MotoGP Championship in front of a crowd just shy of 100,000 people.
Following a decent morning Warm-Up session, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders both opted for the medium-medium tyre combination for the hot 27 lap race. Alex Rins tried to get a good launch off the line, and he slotted into 6th place, while Joan Mir was a few places further back in 9th.
As the lead riders began to make a break at the front, Rins tried hard to get past the KTM of Pol Espargaro, making a small mistake as he did so and dropping a couple of positions. With a small group of riders stacked up behind the KTM, Rins knew he had to make a move and was preparing to do so when he was issued with a long lap penalty. Just seconds later, before he could take the penalty, the Spaniard crashed going into Turn 4. A disappointing blow for the British GP winner, although he was thankfully uninjured.
Meanwhile, Mir enjoyed a steady return to racing. The young rookie was sitting in the Top 10 for the entire race, he fought to pick up a position on the last few laps and reached the chequered flag in a good 8th place. An important result following his debilitating injury.
“My goal today was to finish the race with a good feeling, after my recovery and the time off the bike. I didn’t feel completely comfortable with my bike settings this weekend, but we worked hard, and we were able to close the gap to the others a bit. In the end, 8th isn’t a bad result especially given that this track hasn’t really suited us. It feels good to be back, and I’m really looking forward to next weekend – Aragon is one of my favourite circuits!”
“It was a bad day in the office for us because of the crash. I suffered a bit during the whole weekend, everyone struggled a bit because the track wasn’t very grippy. At the start I made up some places, but then I couldn’t get past Pol for many laps because he is a very hard braker and the KTM had a strong acceleration. After I passed him I tried to enter corner 4 smoothly to keep a good cornering speed but for this reason unfortunately I lost the front. It was a shame, because I lost some points. But I’m really pleased that Aragon is coming up very soon, I like it there and last year I had a good result.”
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