Following a positive conclusion to the 2018 season which saw Alex Rins achieve another podium and 5th in the championship, the team remained at Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia for the first test of 2019.
For MotoGP rookie Joan Mir it was the opportunity to confirm his first feeling and to start working onto his GSX-RR. The former Moto3 champion had to wait for a few hours in the morning while the track was damp, but he was able to ride for the majority of the afternoon, completing an impressive amount of laps: 59. Thrilled with the chance to finally get on track, the Mallorcan did a great job and finished the day in 15th place, 1.371s from the top.
Meanwhile, Alex Rins was feeling good but was frustrated with the lack of track time due to chilly temperatures in the morning and rain in the afternoon, which interrupted his plans. However, he was still able to try different settings and adjustments. He closed the session in 12th place, 0.986s down.
Davide Brivio - Team Manager
Its been a good day but it could have been better because the rain arrived. Alex wasnt able to complete his plan to test the new engine, so we hope it will be dry tomorrow so that we can do it then. We still tried some things, which of course is always useful, but we lost a lot of time in the morning due to the conditions. Its been positive for Joan, he was able to do a lot of laps in the afternoon before the rain, he is learning, understanding, and adjusting. Everything is on schedule with him. He really enjoyed riding and thats always a good way to start.
Today was a bit of a shame, because at the beginning we could do some positive work, but when we were ready to go with the new engine the rain arrived and we had to give up. We were still able to put in some laps and try some small things, but we havent really tried anything major yet. The grip level was quite low so riding wasnt easy today, we hope tomorrow will be drier and we can fit more laps in. I have a lot more experience now and this gives me bigger confidence to help develop the bike, we have a lot of confidence in each other when it comes to preparing for next season. Joan has a lot of potential and well see how he continues, he did a great job today.
My feeling was really good. Its my first real day as a MotoGP rider, and my first day in Suzuki colours and Im super happy. I have a great crew around me and I feel comfortable with them and also quite comfortable with the bike, so thats important. Its a big challenge to adapt from Moto2 to MotoGP. Compared with Moto2, you spend a lot more time braking, and you must brake very hard. And, of course, the acceleration is much more powerful. Electronics will be one of the things that will require more efforts to learn. Its only the first day, but Ive already found it useful to compare info with Alex. Im looking forward to tomorrow.
VALENCIA WINTER TEST - Classification:
1. Maverick VIALES Yamaha Factory Racing 1'31.416
2. Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team 131.718 0.302 / 0.302
3. Valentino ROSSI Yamaha Factory Racing 131.845 0.429 / 0.127
4. Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team 131.846 0.430 / 0.001
5. Stefan BRADL LCR Honda 132.015 0.599 / 0.169
6. Franco MORBIDELLI Petronas Yamaha SRT 132.085 0.669 / 0.070
7. Aleix ESPARGARO Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 132.095 0.679 / 0.010
8. Danilo PETRUCCI Ducati Team 132.100 0.684 / 0.005
9. Pol ESPARGARO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 132.179 0.763 / 0.079
10. Michele PIRRO Ducati Team 132.220 0.804 / 0.041
11. Francesco BAGNAIA Alma Pramac Racing 132.396 0.980 / 0.176
12. Alex RINS Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 132.402 0.986 / 0.006
13. Takaaki NAKAGAMI LCR Honda IDEMITSU 132.539 1.123 / 0.137
14. Jack MILLER Alma Pramac Racing 132.555 1.139 / 0.016
15. Joan MIR Team SUZUKI ECSTAR 132.787 1.371 / 0.232
16. Tito RABAT Reale Avintia Racing 132.834 1.418 / 0.047
17. Johann ZARCO Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 132.835 1.419 / 0.001
18. Jorge LORENZO Repsol Honda Team 132.959 1.543 / 0.124
19. Andrea IANNONE Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 133.291 1.875 / 0.332
20. Karel ABRAHAM Reale Avintia Racing 133.301 1.885 / 0.010
21. Bradley SMITH Aprilia Racing Test Team 133.709 2.293 / 0.408
22. Jonas FOLGER Yamaha Test Team 133.810 2.394 / 0.101
23. Fabio QUARTARARO Petronas Yamaha SRT 133.850 2.434 / 0.040
24. Hafizh SYAHRIN KTM Tech 3 Racing 134.233 2.817 / 0.383
25. Miguel OLIVEIRA KTM Tech 3 Racing 135.118 3.702 / 0.885