After a three-week summer break, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR’s riders got back on track in Brno for the 10th round of the season.
A straight-forward FP1 played out for the riders as they regained their rhythm after the short hiatus and found their feeling on the bumpy Czech track. As the session drew to a close, Sylvain Guintoli, fresh from racing at the Suzuka 8 Hours EWC finale in Japan, set a brilliant lap time to slot into 5th place – less than half a second from the top spot. Meanwhile, Alex Rins and Joan Mir finished FP1 in 9th and 21st respectively.
A somewhat busier atmosphere surrounded the afternoon’s FP2, and with conditions predicted to turn wetter tomorrow morning, trying to ensure a place in the Top 10 became the name of the game. Rins debuted an updated aerodynamic fairing during his second run, he found it useful and effective, deciding to stick with it for the remainder of the session.
Mir concentrated on settings, and he improved his lap time in FP2, placing himself in the Top 10 around 10 minutes before the chequered flag flew. As the session hotted up, Joan and Sylvain were pushed out of the Top 10, but Rins held onto a strong 6th place – just 0.423 seconds from the head of the time sheet, he also topped Sector 1.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager: “It’s been a positive day, especially for Alex. He was able to try a few different things in terms of settings and tyres, and he also used the new fairing. We worked well and got some useful information about the fairing. It’s been a busy Friday schedule for Alex, but we decided to do all of this today because tomorrow the weather could change. Joan had a good FP2 and he just missed out on a place in the Top 10 – he was very, very close in 11th place. We’re still looking to improve his feeling and try some more settings. Sylvain is doing a great job too.”
Alex Rins: “My feeling is nice. During the summer break I relaxed my mind but trained my body, and I can already feel the benefits of that. Today’s result of 6th is pretty good, and I felt that my rhythm was strong. I tried the new fairing with the new aero design and my initial feeling is that it’s much better, we still need to gather more information, but I can feel the difference on anti-wheelie already. The track is quite bumpy this year, which makes it difficult for everyone, but I feel that my bike copes well with the bumps.”
Joan Mir: “It’s a shame that I couldn’t make it into provisional Q2, because tomorrow morning’s weather forecast isn’t very good. There’s not much time during the weekend to prepare for the race, and it’s important to focus on settings. I’m struggling a bit with rear grip, it got better as the day went on, but we need to continue working on my set-up tomorrow to try and improve my feeling and my lap times.”
Sylvain Guintoli: “It was an amazing feeling to get back on the GSX-RR, and I felt I was able to get comfortable with the bike again quickly – 5th place this morning was a great surprise! I was further down in FP2, but the pace was still good, and the bike felt strong. We’re working really well all together as a team, and I feel so motivated to do a good job this weekend.”