Marcos Ramirez 9th and Rory Skinner 20th in the inaugural #IndianGP
A first top 10 for the American Racing Team as Marcos Ramirez took ninth while it was late heartache for Rory Skinner as he was collected in another rider’s crash at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix.
Faced with a brand-new circuit, Marcos quickly set to work learning the layout, rounding out Friday in 10th spot and securing him a direct place into Q2. Ramirez continued his impressive form into final practice, shaving over half a second off his best time before taking 11th in Q2, his best Qualifying of the season so far.
As the lights went out for the inaugural IndianGP, Marcos made a stellar getaway, but an opportunist move from Jeremy Alcoba wiped the Andalusian and three other riders out at Turn 1, bringing out the red flag. A frantic rebuild from the team enabled Marcos to make the restart of the now 12-lap race.
Making another lightning start, he made his way into ninth before briefly being pushed back into 11th. Marcos clawed his way back into the top 10 as he maintained ninth position, steadily closing the gap to Barry Baltus ahead. As the chequered flag waved, Marcos crossed the line in ninth place, only three-tenths off eighth, taking his and the team’s first top-10 of the season.
In the searing Indian heat, Rory made a great start Friday to finish FP1 in 18th. As the conditions intensified in FP2, improvements were steady as he ended the day in 29th. Getting Saturday off to a good start, the Scot bettered Friday’s time by 1.5s in the final practice session.
Taking advantage of the wet conditions in Q1, he looked set for his first Q2 appearance before a flurry of late laps meant he missed out by 0.5s to start the race from 22nd.
As the race got underway, Rory made a decent start, avoiding any Turn One drama before the red flag came out.
At the restart, Rory dropped back several places after a mistake at Turn One before setting about to regain the places. As the laps ticked down, the Scot picked up three places as he chased down Bo Bendsneyder and Borja Gomez to move up to 18th. Unfortunately, he was collected by Kohta Nozane at the final corner of the last lap. Determined to finish, he ran the bike towards the finish to bring to home in 20th.
Marcos Ramirez #24 – 9th
Overall, the weekend was positive because we did a solid job during the weekend. The races are the races and shit happens. All the riders took me in the first corner and, many times, it’s the same rider that takes me out, but this time he crashed into me. Thankfully, I had a second opportunity to race again thanks to the team’s amazing job fixing the bike – it wasn’t perfect with the little time we had but the most important thing was being able to race and overall, finishing P9 was good. But I want more and think we can achieve this going forward!
Rory Skinner #33 – 20th
It was a good weekend, well, a decent weekend overall. I made some good improvements throughout and was really happy with how Saturday morning went, I made some steps in FP3 after Friday and was within a second of the front guys but unfortunately, the P22 doesn’t reflect those improvements made.
Obviously, the weather conditions were also something new for me, it’s not been this humid since I’ve been in the World Championship, but at the same time it’s been nice to visit India.
In the race today I had a good start in the first part, made some good progress and was in a decent position when the red flag came out. The second start wasn’t as good for me, I didn’t quite get turn one right and lost a fair few positions off the line which wasn’t great. But I recovered quite well after running on at turn one early on and we made some steps in the right direction, was nice to claw my way back up through the group and have some fight in me on the last laps but not ideal to be wiped out at the final corner. I was gonna finish the race regardless of if I was running the bike there or riding it… I made it across the line!