Joan Mir will start from the third row of the starting grid for tomorrow’s race, in ninth position. At the end of qualifying for the third Grand Prix of the season, the Mallorcan won the unenviable record of having to pass three times in Q1. But Mir then showed in both races in Qatar that he was quite capable of rebuilding his own race without being able to have a good qualifying session.
“I am satisfied because I did a good job – said Joan – In FP3 there were some problems: the red flag and some yellow flags, it was difficult to do a single lap but in the end I succeeded and I think I have a good pace. We are aware of what happens when we go through Q1, we don’t have an extra tire to face Q2 and so we only have one left. I started well but on my second outing it didn’t go as I expected. I tried but that’s how it happened ”.
Today Marc followed you the Suzuki pilots, did that bother you or when it happens, does it not worry you?
“Usually nobody likes it when a runner follows you like that. But it’s like that. Marc often plays these little games. This could create dangerous situations ”.
Tomorrow you will start from ninth position, are you confident for the race?
“Today, the ninth position is not the same. I usually suffer a lot, but today I felt good. I am aware that with a new additional tire I could have done better. A few tenths less and who knows, I might have been in the first row. The important thing is that the bike runs well, I have a good pace and I am among the strongest. Fabio has a good pace and Zarco too. I will try to overtake as many riders as possible from the start and then I will try to manage the race ”.
What do you think of all the yellow flags? Were you affected by everything that happened this morning with the ambulance, were you distracted?
“It’s definitely a distraction, it’s not nice to see the ambulance or the red flag. I don’t think it’s a good image for anyone. For some runners it can be a big distraction. As for the yellow flags, it happened to me too, today in FP3. I was unable to complete many laps for this reason. When there are the yellow flags, it is absolutely necessary to step out of the accelerator, because that can create very dangerous situations. IIt is the safest thing to do, but it is often unfair. That’s why we put on every new tire we have at the start of the session, even though we are all aware that towards the end the track improves. The problem that the yellow flag could create also makes us think that towards the end, there could be crashes. I agree with that “.
Will we see a strong Suzuki on the track tomorrow? Will you have a different approach to overtaking?
“It’s more difficult to overtake here than in Qatar. There is only one point where you can go fast to do it. In FP4 Aleix slowed down and Miller was very close to him, I wanted to overtake them but I couldn’t. It will be difficult to do it tomorrow in the race ”.
Rins: “I had a tire fall. Marquez is very intelligent”
Besides the race results, one of the problems Suzuki was accused of was not being able to do fast laps in qualifying and today Alex Rins corrected that. The Spaniard, at the start of the Portuguese GP, will start from second place on the starting grid, just behind Fabio Quartararo, just 89 thousandths behind. The No.42, who did not do well in FP4 finishing with the 12th fastest time, clocked a lap of 1’38.951, which was good enough to secure him a middle place in the front row.
“I’m very happy to start from the front row tomorrow – Alex Rins said – it’s not easy in MotoGP to have a good lap, but I did. Tomorrow we will see, it will certainly be a difficult race. I don’t know what Joan is thinking, but I have fallen a lot. Going forward will be of great help. The Ducatis are there and Fabio also seems to have a good pace ”.
You generally have difficulty qualifying, did you have a specific strategy today?
“I changed my approach a bit. I felt very comfortable with the settings of the bike and the Suzuki tires were fine too. Usually it’s not easy but today it was. better than usual in qualifying “.
During the second trimester, there was a time when Marc was waiting for you. What do you think about that? Does it bother you or you don’t pay much attention to it?
“Yes, Marc was waiting for me to come out before the second round. We took the pit lane together. Marc is very smart at doing these things, Little by little, I understood how it works and I played with it. I’m happy because even when I was alone I pushed a lot and managed to adjust the time ”.
Did the tire fall affect your performance? Fabio had a good pace, do you think you can keep up with it tomorrow?
“I felt quite comfortable, I don’t know the others. In FP4, Fabio went fast and I don’t know if the others suffered from the drop as well. I have an overview of where I am and how many laps I can do on a tire, and everything in between. If Fabio manages to keep this pace throughout the race, it will be difficult for us to keep up ”.
Are you worried about ending up in the group and having to do a lot of overtaking?
“I generally have a good start in the race and that will help me a lot. I’m on the front row and I’m just going to have to manage the race well ”.