SUZUKI ECSTAR MOVES TO MALAYSIA FOR 2019 PENULTIMATE RACE
Sepang International Circuit, the third in a trio of ‘fly-away’ races, will this weekend play host the penultimate round of the 2019 MotoGP World Championship.
Alex Rins had a tricky time of it at the Australian GP just a few days ago, the Spaniard struggled to set a hot lap during qualifying and then found he had to fight hard through the pack on Sunday. However, he managed 9th place and collected useful points. Rins finished last year’s Malaysian GP in an impressive 2nd place, and he is highly motivated to run at the front again in 2019’s race.
Joan Mir enjoyed an excellent race in Phillip Island, and the rookie managed to score his best ever MotoGP result with 5th place, after battling against some of his more experienced rivals. Mir won in Sepang in 2017 in the Moto3 class and finished 10th last year in Moto2. The youngster is keeping his sights set on getting closer to the podium in the final two races of the year.
The Malaysian circuit, located 50km from the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, opened its gates to MotoGP 20 years ago, and the track is nestled within a complex which includes a golf course, a hotel, and a shopping centre. The GP boasts incredibly high attendance figures, with more and more spectators pouring in to watch the action ever year. In 2018, a record 103,984 passionate fans packed the grandstands.
Sepang’s iconic pair of long straights, separated by a beautiful pagoda, are instantly recognisable to GP fans. The circuit is one of the fastest on the calendar, whilst also providing plenty of exciting over-taking hot spots. It is also very physically draining as the highly humid climate saps energy from the riders.
Davide Brivio – Team Manager:
“Sepang could be a good track for us, even if the weather can be problematic sometimes. We’re looking forward to getting on track. It’s good for Joan to go straight into this race after such a strong result last week, and Alex is keen to get back to better results too, he was really strong last year. Let’s see what we can do.”
“I really like being in Malaysia, the circuit suits our bike and I love the vibe and how the track is so ‘full power’. I’ve had some good results there in the past, especially last year, and I feel that I can do well this weekend. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike and trying my best.”
“I think Sepang could be even better for me than Phillip Island, because I have already ridden there during the test, so I’m more familiar with how it feels on a MotoGP bike. Also, I have won in Sepang in the past, so I’m expecting a good weekend. Everything is going well with my GSX-RR and I feel close to the podium now, maybe my first one can be achieved there…”
TECHNICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF SEPANG
Frankie Carchedi – Joan Mir’s Crew Chief:
“Sepang is one of the most technical tracks on the calendar, there are slow corners and tight hairpins and then some really fast sections. The grip and the temperatures can change suddenly and dramatically, from session to session. It’s quite often dry and chilly in the morning and then hot and rainy in the afternoon. Everything on the setup has to be balanced because this track is so varied, so that can be a challenge. The final sector of the circuit has really hard braking and strong acceleration, so we need to use the aerodynamic package to help with the anti-wheelie.”