Team Suzuki Press Office - March 12.

Pre-season testing for the MotoGP field came to an abrupt end in Qatar today after sandstorms swept across the circuit in Doha, leaving track conditions too risky to ride on.

Despite best efforts from organisers to clean some of the sand away, only a handful of riders ventured out on track with the majority being forced to sit out the final day.

However, despite losing a day, both Team Suzuki Ecstar’s factory riders felt satisfied with the work carried out during the four test days they completed. Joan Mir and Alex Rins were both able to try a lot of items brought from Japan, and this allowed them to compare options and continue building the optimum 2021 package.

The work put in by the team’s two test riders, Sylvain Guintoli and Takuya Tsuda, who both completed a high number of laps over their five days testing, has also allowed the entire squad to feel confident ahead of the first race of the year, also in Qatar.

Shinichi Sahara - Project Leader & Team Director:

“The last test day hasn’t been the best for everybody because of the weather and track conditions, but apart from that we have still managed to test and prepare. We’ve covered almost all the items that we wanted to and both riders are in very good shape ahead of the season opener, our bikes are also looking strong and balanced. Nothing is certain until we race, but we feel that we’re in a good starting position.”

Ken Kawauchi - Technical Manager:

“Due to the situation with Covid-19, the whole paddock has missed out on a lot of testing during this pre-season and last. This means every test is crucially important, and we tried to get through as many items as possible. It’s a shame to lose a day due to the weather conditions, but we still managed to complete almost all of our program. There are a few small things to improve on, but we have collected a lot of data. The next stop will be the race weekend and we feel ready for it.”

Joan Mir:

“It was a shame we couldn’t ride today because we still had some things to try and we were saving some tyres to use on this final day. I would have liked to work a bit more but it simply wasn’t possible due to the sand storm. Despite losing track time today, it has been a great test and I’m really happy. There are still some areas to improve, but even if we’re not the strongest that we can be, we are strong. We’ll work in the next couple of weeks and come out ready for the first race.”

Alex Rins:

“The test was quite good, we tried many things and I’m super happy with all the hard work the team has done. They brought a lot of pieces and items to Qatar and it was really helpful to compare everything, we found what worked well and what wasn’t so good. I feel really prepared for the race in a few weeks and I’m excited to jump on the bike.”

Sylvain Guintoli:

“I’ve done around 300 laps during the test days, and I was ready for more today but unfortunately the track wasn’t! However, we used the testing time very well and covered a lot of areas, so we’re pleased with what we’ve done. I was able to try the 2022 engine and lots of things for the 2021 bike. It feels fantastic to be back on track with the GSX-RR, and I feel confident with how the package is going for Joan and Alex. Everything feels quite balanced, which is important, because it’s easy to gain in one area and lose in another. Let’s see how the races go now!”

Full Qatar MotoGP Test Image Gallery: CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

For more stories about Alex Rins, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Joan Mir, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Sylvain Guintoli, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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