Equal best finish for Mir, heroic ride from Rins
Joan Mir: 5th (+ 7.693)
Alex Rins: 10th (+ 27.091)
Team Suzuki Ecstar made the best of extremely tough race conditions with excellent results from both riders. Joan Mir rode a sensible and tactical race to equal his best Suzuki finish, while Alex Rins displayed steely determination and heroics as he took 10th place.
Track temperatures topped a whopping 63°c for the 25 lap race, making for a physically demanding GP and a high attrition rate.
Despite qualifying on the fourth row, Mir used his consistent race pace to seal a strong finish. Slotting into eighth off the start line, he kept the leaders in sight for the first half of the race and settled into a decent rhythm in the early 1’39s. On Lap 7, he began to close in on Nakagami in front of him. As the race went on, he maintained this good pace and gained positions as others fell by the wayside. When the end of the race was drawing near, Mir – who was in fifth place – decided to conserve his result instead of trying to chase fourth. This sensible decision paid off and he secured 11 points, equaling his best finish of fifth place in Phillip Island last year.
Rins came into the Andalucian Grand Prix on the back foot after the shoulder injury he suffered just eight days earlier. Qualifying 20th on the grid, the plan was simply to ride for as many points as possible. However, he made a brilliant start and quickly slotted into 16th place despite having to take evasive action for a crash in front of him. He remained focused and maintained a strong pace with the majority of his laps in the mid-1’39s.
The last seven laps of the race saw Rins really struggling with intense pain, but he pushed through and continued to pick up places as the attrition rate rose. He took an incredible 10th place and six points at the finish line.
Rins will head to Barcelona this Monday for medical checks to assess the current condition of his shoulder. Team Suzuki Ecstar will be back on track on August 7th for the Czech GP.
“I’m very happy with what I managed to do; the team deserved a good result. When I was on track I felt that today could’ve been ‘podium day’ because I wasn’t far from it, and I saw a lot of other riders struggling or dropping out for various reasons. I think we did a really good race – and in the end I was only a little more than two seconds behind a podium place, so that’s good news. It was tough today because we didn’t have much information from last weekend to help us. But overall, I’m happy with my good and consistent pace.”
“The race was unbelievable; I was already suffering from the moment I joined the grid before the start. I got an incredible start but as the laps went on I started to feel more and more pain. With seven laps to go, it was really tough to continue; but after all the work that I’ve done since last weekend, as well as the doctors and my team, I just wanted to keep going. I never lost my faith and it allowed me to take this 10th place. I’ll continue with my recovery and hope to be on much better form for Brno.”