Alex Rins took command of the last minutes of the second free practice session and closed the first day of the Italian Grand Prix with the third fastest time, going directly to Q2. This despite Honda denied him the new Kalex chassis that the factory riders already had a month ago at Le Mans.
The LCR team rider explained his dissatisfaction on Thursday at Mugello, “until further notice” he will not be able to have that material and will have to contest the Italian Grand Prix with what he has from the pre-season. A package which, however, the Catalan knows how to exploit like few others, it is no coincidence that he is the only Honda rider to have won this year, in Austin. Furthermore, at Mugello it returned to being the first RC213V in the time classification.
“I’m happy to have given my all with the package I have. The truth is that I still think there is a small margin for improvement, after setting the fastest lap I could have been quicker in some places. I did the time alone, without following anyone, we have a good pace and it was a good day,” explained the LCR team rider.
“We struggled a bit to find the key to the problem on this circuit, because it’s very technical, complicated and it wasn’t easy. At the beginning of P2 we were going very slow, but afterwards we made a set-up that allowed us to go faster. We are proving to be quick,” she added. “We went back to our basic bike, the one from Le Mans and Jerez, and some set-up and suspension changes, so we went much better.”
Alex Rins, Team LCR Honda
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
During the session, Rins was followed by Fabio Di Giannantonio until the Gresini rider tried to overtake him by forcing the brakes and ended up on the ground, right in front of the Spaniard’s bike, who was about to run him over. “It bothered me a lot, if I think about it with a cool head. The first time it can happen, he came out of the pits and didn’t look back, I arrived with a red helmet and it bothered me. But it’s something that can happen, the same thing happened with Franco Morbidelli and Alex Marquez in P1. But I didn’t understand the second one, I’d like to talk to him and get him to explain me”.
“At turn 1 I braked very late and saw someone passing me on the inside, when I saw it was him I thought ‘where is he going? He’s going to go wide’…and he fell, obviously. What bothered me a little is that we were very close to hitting him, if I hadn’t braked in time I would have found him in front of me ”, he said.
“I think we can take a step forward on Saturday if it doesn’t rain. I think the tranquility of being qualified in Q2 will allow us to work calmly and bring us a little closer. Obviously the Ducatis are very much ahead here, but let’s see what we can find. I think the fast zones is where we make the time and I think we’ve made a difference. It motivated me a lot to qualify for Q2 without following anyone”, said Rins before acknowledging that “there is no anger in Friday’s work, because if you ride in anger the safest thing is that you end up on the ground”, referring to the fact that Honda keeps denying him the Kalex chassis.