Austrian GP awaits confident Mir and Rins, 6th and 8th on the grid
Joan Mir: 6th – 1’23.673 (+ 0.223)
Alex Rins: 8th – 1’23.731 (+ 0.281)
Despite a wet start to Saturday in Spielberg, Joan Mir and Alex Rins were able to confirm their positive feelings with the GSX-RR and gain good grid spots for tomorrow’s Grand Prix.
After both posting times in the Top 10 on Friday, it looked as though Rins and Mir were guaranteed direct passage to Q2 when rain fell around the Red Bull Ring in FP3. But with 15 minutes left in the session, the riders were required to make a quick switch to slicks as times tumbled. Comfortable with their set-up, the Suzuki pair placed themselves firmly in the Top 10 to progress to final qualifying.
FP4 allowed both riders to confirm their dry set-up and try tyre options, carrying out the usual Saturday routine. This session was solid for Mir and Rins and served as a good intro into qualifying.
A frantic Q2 was the order of the day as everyone was keen to lay down a fast lap before a possible change in the weather. Mir and Rins were both able to do short strings of fast laps in their two exits, with Mir showing front row pace. They will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix from sixth and eighth respectively, less than three-tenths-of-a-second from the top.
“I’m happy because I usually struggle with qualifying, but today I’ve been really strong and I’m only two-tenths-of-a-second behind the pole. I still feel that my race pace is better than my one-lap pace so it will be interesting to see how the race goes. I feel I have potential. It can be difficult here against the other manufacturers but the Suzuki is strong and fast in the corners, so we’ll play our cards! I’m aiming for Top 5.”
“I’m on the 3rd row but the times are so tight, so it’s not bad at all! I feel that my rhythm is good enough to fight at the front so I’m feeling positive about what I can do. I did feel pain with my shoulder today, but I’m used to suffering with the pain now and I have to push through it. I’m confident about tomorrow’s race.”