Suzuki has made “clear” step in MotoGP qualifying

One-lap pace has been a key problem for the Suzuki duo in the past, with Mir and team-mate Alex Rins only scoring two front row starts in 2021.

Suzuki ended Friday in Qatar fastest of all, with Rins first and Mir third, and looked to have made a step in time attack mode.

But in qualifying Mir could only manage eighth, while Rins was 10th – but the former says windy conditions played their part in this result and says the potential of the 2022 bike over one lap is much better than last year.

“Yes, by far,” he said, when asked if he felt better on the 2022 Suzuki in qualifying. “We are a lot better than last year, even with problems I was able to make 1m53.4s, which is a good lap time.

“Then, for sure, we have a couple of tenths that we can improve, on the straight you probably gain a little bit more with the slipstream. But we are not that bad I think. I expected a little bit more, but we are really close and it’s like this.

“It is clear that we improved on quality. There’s more potential, I feel when the tire is new and everything.

“There is some work to do because we didn’t have time to try different things. I think there’s a bit of margin we can still make it a little bit better. But I’m happy, so let’s see what we can do in the race.

“Normally it’s not a bad position for us to start, eighth position, so I’m not worried. Tomorrow I think we have the pace to fight.”

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Alex Rins, Team Suzuki MotoGP

Photo by: MotoGP

Team-mate Rins says he suffered with a lack of rear edge grip in qualifying, but believes the fact so many bikes jumped ahead of Suzuki in qualifying generally shows MotoGP is now in its most competitive era.

“I’m a bit surprised, it’s what I said to the guys in the box, why we are in front in practice and why in qualifying the others are able to improve this lap time,” Rins added. “What I say also is true that we are in P10 at 0.4s, we are 0.2s from Marc [Marquez] who finished third.

“So, we have to think that maybe it’s the closest year in terms of equality of the bikes. So, we are not super far away, we are not one second from the first [rider].”

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