The entire paddock was desperate to get back on track in Australia after the long hiatus caused by the pandemic, and Phillip Island didn’t disappoint as it offered up one of the most thrilling races of the season – one which gave Suzuki a superb win in the hands of Alex Rins.
A tense start to the race saw Alex deep in the field but battling through to 8th in the early laps, and before long he set the fastest lap of the race, slotting into 5th place by Lap 6.
His progression continued to impress while the pack closed in around him, for three laps in a row Alex made slick and well executed passes at the Southern Loop section of the circuit, bringing him into a podium position by the eighth circulation.
On Lap 14 Rins charged to the head of the race, and from there on out he battled hard to both attack and defend. It was far from an easy task with just 1.8 seconds covering the first ten riders, but Alex was feeling confident and carrying great corner speed on his GSX-RR. The Suzuki squad held their breath as their rider refused to give up, despite slipping to 3rd with three laps left. Two more sensational passes at the Southern Loop plunged Rins back into the lead before the chequered flag and he took his fourth MotoGP career win – now completing the set having also won here in Moto3 and Moto2.
Joan Mir had a more complicated race. After starting well and climbing into 9th, he struggled with tyre pressure problems caused by a fault with the manometer. He tried hard to stay in the points but slipped to 18th by the line.
“I’m super happy! During the race I was feeling pretty good, in fact my feeling with the bike was amazing. The pace was fairly slow to try and preserve the rear tyre, because we know this place can be tough on tyres. But in the end, I was able to find some good traction in the sweeping corners and this allowed me to gain places and feel strong until the end – we had a fantastic battle all together! The entire team and everyone who has worked on this project deserves this win, and so do the fans, I’m so pleased that I could celebrate another victory together before we depart.”
“On our side of the garage it’s been a very disappointing race. There was a problem with the manometer which meant that the tyre pressures were out, and this caused me to drop backwards. I practically couldn’t finish the race, but I just managed too. It’s a sad comeback for me, but I’ll do my best in the last two races and hope for some better luck. On the other hand, I’m so happy for the team and Alex, because a victory here in Phillip Island is something very special.”
Livio Suppo – Team Manager
“It’s actually a very mixed feeling: I’m super happy for Alex, of course, but super sorry for Joan. Alex rode an unbelievable race, he showed all his talent and all the potential of the bike, I’m really glad to celebrate this victory with the team after such a difficult season. It was a real shame for Joan, due to a tiny technical issue his race was compromised from the beginning. His pace in the practices was also very good, and I’m sure he could’ve been up there too. Anyway, we’ve shown today that we truly don’t give up, and I want to thank everybody for the support.”
Ken Kawauchi – Technical Manager
“I’m happy because, at last, we’ve come back to the podium – and not only to the podium but the top step. Alex did an incredible job and this is a nice reward for us, and for everybody who has contributed to our team and factory. Unfortunately, as everyone knows, our project will end this year but we could prove we’re enough competitive and we’ll continue to go ‘full gas’ in the last two races. Joan had some problems today which meant he couldn’t show his potential, but it’s great to have him back with us and we hope next week will be much better for him.”
- From Team Suzuki Press Office