Team Suzuki Press Office – June 13.
Team SUZUKI ECSTAR head back to Spain for the GP of Catalunya, and the majestic surrounds of the Montmelò circuit. This will be a particularly special race for Alex Rins, who counts this track as his ‘home circuit’ as he was born in nearby Barcelona. This will also be his first time here with a MotoGP bike, after last year’s injury problems.
The 2018 season is in full swing and in one of its busiest and most important phases, and the consistent improvements done to the GSX-RR have allowed both Andrea Iannone and Alex Rins to increase their confidence and harvest positive results. Their 4th and 5th place finishes in Mugello two weeks ago proved a level of consistency and competitiveness which the two factory riders will try to confirm again this weekend in Catalunya.
This Catalan GP will also see the return of Sylvain Guintoli as a Wild Card. The Frenchman is now a full time development rider for Suzuki, and this GP will be a good chance for him to give a further push to the development.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“The GP of Catalunya is an important point in the season, because together with Mugello it is where you start to really understand the level of the competition and where you stand. Last year we did not have a very positive race here, so we need to get rid of that bad memory and replace it with the positive results we had in Mugello two weeks ago – that race provides good motivation for us. Both Andrea and Alex finished in the Top 5, meaning that our level has improved sensibly, and we want to continue this way. We also had a test last month in Montmelò that helped us a lot in understanding the bike and how to improve our performance. We had the support of our test rider, Sylvain Guintoli, there – and he will also race as a Wild Card for this Catalan GP, which will give us a lot more information to work with.”
“I’ve always liked the circuit of Montmelò and I think it could really suit the characteristics of our GSX-RR. We had positive feedback in the test we did here after the race in Le Mans, which I hope will be useful when it comes to preparing a positive race this weekend. Lately our results have been improving race by race and things are going in a good way, so we will try to seize this moment.”
“I’m excited to race in Montmelò for the GP of Catalunya because it’s my home GP! The atmosphere here is always very special, it’s not only the circuit which is very exciting but also the whole weekend, with a lot of people supporting us all – and me in particular. We arrive in good shape; the race in Mugello was a positive one and also the test we did here some weeks ago gave us important direction, hope, and positivity.”
“Working with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR is amazing. I remember the 1st time I rode the Suzuki GSX-RR, there was incredible speed and a fantastic feeling – I still get this feeling every time, and it has been getting better and better! Together we have done a great job during this past year, and the bike has made good progress. It is an honour and a pleasure to be racing the Suzuki GSX-RR in Barcelona this weekend as a Wild Card.”
The Circuito de Cataluña in Montmelo, Spain, is one of the most historic circuits in the Championship. After opening in 1991, it began hosting the Catalan GP in 1995. It has high speed corners that test the stability and precision capabilities of the chassis and set-up. Correspondingly, it is demanding on the tyres. With five left-hand corners and eight right-hand corners, it measures 4.7km (2.94 miles) and its longest straight is 1047mt (3435.04 ft.)
Qualifying: 12th – 1’44.928 / +1.058
Race: 16th – +43.221
DNS – out with injury.
Qualifying: 22nd – 1’45.912 / FP3
Race: 17th – +44.655
Story issued by: Team SUZUKI ECSTAR