The Red Bull Ring had a small surprise in store for morning Warm-Up, when the mountainous track suffered a rain storm. However, the race in front of 85,000 excitable Austrian fans remained dry and provided 28 laps of twists and turns.
Alex Rins, the solo rider for Team SUZUKI ECSTAR due to Joan Mir’s injury hiatus, opted for the medium-medium tyre combination from his 7th place grid spot. The Spaniard got off to a good start and managed to swiftly get into 3rd place as some of his rivals made mistakes on the first corner. However, Rins struggled a little to get into his rhythm and he slipped to 7th place. Later in the race, whilst running in 6th, he was in a battle for 4th place with Rossi and Viñales. But with the tricky track taking its toll he opted to secure a ‘safe’ 6th place finish and close the gap to Petrucci in the championship standings.
For Team SUZUKI ECSTAR this finish marks an improvement in form on the unique and technical Austrian circuit, with Rins taking 8 seconds out of his gap to the race winner when compared to 2018, and his overall race time being shaved by 14 seconds.
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager: “We couldn’t fight for the podium here today, but we can call ourselves satisfied because this track is not one of our best and we are pleased to get some good points and a top six finish. Thanks to Alex for the work he’s put in during this difficult weekend. It was strange for us to only have one rider here, and we’re looking forward to seeing Joan again at the next race.”
Davide Brivio – Team Manager: “In the end, Alex had a very good race and we performed better than we perhaps thought beforehand. We did struggle a bit here, but we were still able to meet the target of the top six. We’re looking forward to the next races, which will probably be more suited to our bike. We’ll be happy to have Joan back with us in Silverstone too, hopefully he will be able to recover in these next 10 days and be fully recovered. Let’s see what we can do there!”
Alex Rins: “This race was really difficult for me, I suffered under braking. But our target was to improve my result compared to last year and we managed to do that. In 2018 I finished 8th here, and today I was 6th. I also narrowed the gap in the points standings. I always try to give my maximum at every race, and I’m motivated for the next round. I really enjoy Silverstone so I’m keen to arrive there.”