Team Suzuki Press Office - October 18.

Joan Mir: 9th - 1:45.641 (+ 0.877)
Alex Rins: 11th - 1:45.730 (+ 0.966)
Sylvain Guintoli: 20th - 1:46.803 (+ 2.039)

• Joan Mir finds good rhythm from the get-go.
• Alex Rins bumped out of Top 10 in closing seconds.
• Sylvain Guintoli tries 2020 prototype engine.

The first in a series of three back-to-back ‘fly-away’ races, Motegi welcomed the MotoGP riders for the opening day of action at the Japanese track.

The morning’s FP1 session saw everyone keen to make an impression and cement good pace ahead of the afternoon’s important FP2. Alex Rins and Joan Mir both put in runs of strong laps, with the rookie even sitting as high as 3rd place with just a few minutes to go. At the end of FP1, Rins was 5th and Mir 6th, both around half a second from the top spot.

With bad weather predicted for much of Saturday, one of the key aims for FP2 was to try and secure a place in the Top 10 and direct passage to Q2 - as well as the usual work with fine tuning settings ahead of race day. After getting to grips with the chilly track, both Rins and Mir kept themselves well within the Top 10. As the session drew to a close, many riders began putting in fast laps, and in the final seconds Alex Rins was knocked to 11th spot. Meanwhile, Mir managed to hold on to 9th place after a pacy last flying lap.

Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Test Rider, Sylvain Guintoli, rejoins the field this weekend. The experienced Frenchman is working towards 2020 and he closed Day 1 in 20th overall.

Davide Brivio - Team Manager:

“Today was important for gaining as much information as possible, because it looks like it will be wet for most of tomorrow. We did a good job and the riders tried different tyres and settings. Joan did really well and was able to keep his place within the Top 10, thus meaning that he will likely be already in Q2 if the forecasted rain will finally come tomorrow morning. Alex, by a tiny gap of just nine thousands of a second, was pushed into 11th place! But he is feeling confident. Sylvain has done well too, and he quite likes the rain! Let’s see how tomorrow goes, we feel positive and hopeful.”

Joan Mir:

“I’m really happy about today. I managed to improve my pace lap by lap, and that was great. In FP2 I didn’t put in a fresh front tyre at the end, but I was still able to stay within the Top 10, which is really important for tomorrow. We’ll keep working towards having a competitive race and good result.”

Alex Rins:

“Today has been very good, I’m so happy to be riding on this track again, I like it so much. I missed out on direct passage to Q2, but I will try again tomorrow and I’m still happy with my pace overall. In FP2 I tried a different set-up, but in the end I didn’t like the feeling as much, so I decided to switch back and I got knocked out of the Top 10. This track suits our bike and I hope for a good grid position tomorrow.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“It’s so nice to be back on the bike. We’re working on our 2020 engine and already we’re getting positive feelings, data, and feedback. Today my lap times weren’t bad, and I managed to set my best lap in Motegi, so that felt good.”

GP of Japan - Combined Classification after Day 1:

1. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 1'44.764 (FP2)
2. Maverick VIÑALES Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’45.085 0.321 / 0.321 (FP2)
3. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 1’45.100 0.336 / 0.015 (FP2)
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 1’45.414 0.650 / 0.314 (FP2)
5. Valentino ROSSI Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP 1’45.466 0.702 / 0.052 (FP2)
6. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 1’45.562 0.798 / 0.096 (FP2)
7. Jack MILLER Pramac Racing 1’45.577 0.813 / 0.015 (FP2)
8. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 1’45.619 0.855 / 0.042 (FP2)
9. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’45.641 0.877 / 0.022 (FP2)
10. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’45.721 0.957 / 0.080 (FP2)
11. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’45.730 0.966 / 0.009 (FP2)
12. Cal CRUTCHLOW LCR Honda CASTROL 1’45.804 1.040 / 0.074 (FP2)
13. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’46.020 1.256 / 0.216 (FP2)
14. Francesco BAGNAIA Pramac Racing 1’46.330 1.566 / 0.310 (FP2)
15. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 1’46.557 1.793 / 0.227 (FP2)
16. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 1’46.576 1.812 / 0.019 (FP2)
17. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 1’46.661 1.897 / 0.085 (FP2)
18. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 1’46.745 1.981 / 0.084 (FP1)
19. Miguel OLIVEIRA Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’46.800 2.036 / 0.139 (FP2)
20. Sylvain GUINTOLI Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 1’46.803 2.039 / 0.003 (FP2)
21. Mika KALLIO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 1’46.898 2.134 / 0.095 (FP1)
22. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 1’47.158 2.394 / 0.189 (FP2)
23. Hafizh SYAHRIN Red Bull KTM Tech 3 1’47.974 3.210 / 0.662 (FP2)

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For more stories about Sylvain Guintoli-no, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Alex Rins, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Joan Mir, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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