Fourth for Alex Rins, DNF for Joan Mir in the #PortugueseGP
The Grand Prix of Portugal brought sweeping highs and crashing lows for Team Suzuki Ecstar as Alex Rins crafted a superb fight through the field from 23rd on the grid to fourth. And Joan Mir, who was in the running for a strong podium, was wiped out seven laps from the end of the race.
The 25-lap race started under threatening clouds but the GSX-RR riders had their minds clearly set on their potential. Mir took the ‘holeshot’ from second on the grid and Rins made a very fast progression from 23rd up to 11th. On Lap 4 Mir lost the lead to Fabio Quartararo but the Suzuki man’s determination kept him up the front, despite struggling with a lack of feeling.
While Mir was fighting to keep the Ducati riders behind him, Rins was swiftly moving up the order, taking sixth on Lap 8 by sweeping through on his nearest rivals. But it was all to change when a mistake from Jack Miller under braking at Turn 1 took Mir out of the race as the pair hit the gravel trap at speed with seven laps to go. Both riders were OK.
This meant that Rins – cool and calm after his calculated carve through – had moved into fourth place, he held the chasing pack at bay and maintained this spot until the chequered flag.
Rins now holds second in the Championship, equal on points with Fabio Quartararo (69 a piece), and Team Suzuki Ecstar continue to lead the Teams’ Standings.
“It was a good race for me, I finished quite a long way up considering my grid spot. These points are very important, and it’s great to have moved up the standings; I’m now in second place, on equal points with Fabio. Honestly, I believed in my potential today, even if it seemed tough from so far back. I knew I could have a good rhythm and a strong finish. The contrast between yesterday and today is massive, yesterday we didn’t feel much like celebrating but now we can be happy with the race. Now let’s go to Spain and Jerez!”
“It was really hard to push in this race, I was struggling to attack. After my good start I was just trying to get the best position possible, and I sort of went into defence mode. What happened with Jack was obviously frustrating, but mistakes can happen in racing and I’ve also made similar mistakes in the past. It was a racing incident and nothing deliberate. It’s a shame not to score any points here, but we’ll move onto Jerez now and try to find the best settings to give me a good chance of fighting.”