The Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, also known as COTA, is without doubt one of the most intriguing of the season. It boasts the most corners (20), as well as having the highest number of left turns (11), the longest straight (1200m) and, subsequently, the hardest braking – at corner 11 the riders scrub off 272 km/h, slowing from 331 km/h to just 59 km/h.
Given all this, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders are undoubtedly excited to jump back on their GSX-RRs for the challenge offered by this third race of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship season.
Alex Rins is keen to replace the bad luck of the previous editions of the GP with fresher and happier memories. His liking of the circuit layout combined with his exciting performance two weeks ago in Argentina, give the Spaniard and the team positivity for the weekend ahead.
It will be a different approach for Joan Mir at the Circuit of The Americas: he doesn’t have such a strong connection with circuit and its layout, but being his first time here with the GSX-RR MotoGP machine he’s eager to test his skills, especially after the DNF he suffered last time out in Argentina. The rookie is learning and working relentlessly with his crew to become better acquainted with the bike and set-up.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager
“In Argentina we had some highs and lows: with Alex we were able to see how competitive he can be in the races; with the extraordinary recovery he did from P16 to P5. But on the other hand we also saw how much we have to improve in qualifying to get a better grid position. Meanwhile, Joan went through an ‘apprentice’ weekend and learnt from a tough race, which gave him important lessons and gave our engineers important hints and paths to follow. We now head to the American GP with a lot of information and the desire to continue our positive trend. We are able to fight with the top guys and this is our objective; getting better and better race after race.”
“I arrive in Texas feeling very happy after two positive races in Qatar and Argentina. At Termas we put together a good race, without a single mistake, which really pleased me. But we also highlighted one of our weaknesses; I need to be faster on the time attack to get a better starting position. The Circuit of The Americas will be an interesting challenge, the circuit is intense as it has some very fast sectors combined with slow ones. It’s also very physical, being on top form will be crucial for good riding and a strong result.”
“After the tough race in Argentina I’m definitely looking forward to Texas, not only to aim for a better result but also – and most importantly – to get back the positive feeling I had in Qatar and during the whole winter. The team and I have spent the down time between races to better understand what went wrong at Termas and to learn from our mistakes, so I’m confident we will redeem ourselves in Austin! COTA itself is not one of my best layouts, but in the past I was able to be very fast here, so I’m not too worried.”
TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF QATAR
Manuel Cazeaux – Alex Rins’ Crew Chief: “The Circuit of The Americas is quite a challenging circuit with many different types of corners; some fast and flowing, and some very long. But there is hard braking too, so it’s very demanding on the tyres. We have some parts of the track where we tend to be very strong, like sectors 1 and 4. The hard acceleration going onto the long straight means the bike has a tendency to wheelie and you have to work on the setup and electronics to counteract this. Every year is a new story, let’s see what the 2019 GSX-RR can do.”