Second podium of the season for Mir, Rins takes 5th in Misano
Joan Mir: 3rd (+ 2.290)
Alex Rins: 5th (+ 4.044)
The small number of fans who were able to enter the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli were treated to a thrilling battle of wits in the 27 lap race, as were the hundreds of supporters pictured in Team Suzuki Ecstar’s pit box. Joan Mir and Alex Rins pieced together a great race to take third and fifth places in the San Marino Grand Prix.
The hot topic in morning Warm-Up was tyre choice and both Rins and Mir spent time trying to define their best options – this paid off as tyre choice played a big role in the afternoon’s race. Mir opted for a medium-medium combo, while Rins chose medium-soft.
An electric atmosphere met the riders on the grid and the Suzuki pair got strong starts, with Rins placing sixth and Mir eighth on the first lap. As the laps ticked by Rins increased his pace, setting a fastest lap and moving into fifth place by the eighth lap of the race, before putting in an emphatic pass for fourth. Mir stuck in close behind his team-mate in sixth.
Rins settled into a formidable rhythm, edging himself ever closer to the podium. With just a handful of laps remaining, both Team Suzuki Ecstar riders were in podium contention but as Rins began to suffer physically, Mir was able to make his way through. On the last lap, the Mallorcan executed an incredible pass on Rossi to take his second podium of the year with third, while Rins finished a brave and important fifth.
Mir now sits fourth in the championship, 16 points from the top, and Rins is 36 points down in 12th, meaning there’s all to play for in the coming races.
“I’m really happy. I wasn’t as strong here as I was in Austria, but I’m on the podium anyway so that’s good news. I really enjoyed the end of the race, and it was exciting to make that final overtake! I knew I could do it at that corner so I was confident. I was aware that I would struggle a little bit on the first laps with the fresh tyre but my pace with the used tyre was a lot faster, and I felt great with the bike, so I managed to take advantage of that. We’re going to work in the test on Tuesday and be ready for next weekend.”
“Today’s race was hard for me. In the first and middle parts of the race I was feeling confident and I had good pace and a good feeling with the bike. When I could see the podium getting closer I really pushed myself a lot and I began to have some problems with strength in my right arm due to my shoulder injury, so it was very tough to continue fighting. In the end, with a couple of laps to go, I was just trying to get through it and get a good position. I’m happy with fifth because the points are good, but for sure I’ll hope for more next time out.”