Indonesia MotoGP qualifying delayed after Rins’ Suzuki catches fire

MotoGP has returned to Indonesia for the first time since 1997 this weekend at the new Mandalika International Street Circuit on the island of Lombok.

Despite tricky conditions and a new track surface following problems with the asphalt in February’s pre-season test, there have been few incidents in the MotoGP sessions so far this weekend.

But the 30-minute FP4 was forced to be red-flagged with 23 minutes and 32 seconds on the clock still when Rins’ Suzuki burst into flames.

The Spaniard’s GSX-RR combusted at Turn 10 before getting worse as Rins made his way through Turn 11 and 12 before he ditched the bike at Turn 13.

The session was soon red-flagged as a track inspection for oil was carried out, with a clean-up operation from Turn 10 needing to be undertaken.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco crashed on a spot of oil at Turn 10 just seconds after Rins had gone through the corner.

Speaking to MotoGP’s world feed, Suzuki team boss Livio Suppo said Rins was unhurt in the fiery incident but the cause of the fire is unknown.

“He’s ok, he just went to change the leather but he’s fine,” Supppo said.

“We still don’t know what happened, of course we saw the fire, but we don’t know yet what happened.”

Ducati boss Davide Tardozzi also told the world feed that his rider Jack Miller could smell oil from Rins bike and was lucky himself not to crash on it.

Rins has made it through to Q2 in qualifying, but will now only have one bike to compete with.

He is currently the only Suzuki in Q2 as teammate Joan Mir was unable to improve on 20th due to a weather affected FP3 stopping improvements being made on the combined order.

He will join both factory Honda riders Marc Marquez and Pol Espargaro in Q1, as well as Ducati’s Francesco Bagnaia.

The FP4 session was restarted at 2:50pm local time.

Qualifying was due to begin at 3:05pm local time (7:05am GMT), but will be delayed to 3:25pm local time (7:25am GMT).