His team manager Davide Brivio He left them in January to give himself a chance in Formula One as the head of the Alpine team, but his spirit remains intact at Suzuki Racing and he is the only MotoGP team that has remained completely after the test carried out last week and will be five weeks in Qatari territory doing teamwork.
Before the vaccination offer was known by the state of Qatar, Yamaha and Suzuki had already agreed that they would stay between the tests and the Grand Prix, leaving the pilots to their free will, but once on March 11, the Offering the free Pfizer vaccine there was a change of plans in Iwata that left theirs the free choice to return home and instead Hamamatsu decided to bet on the ‘team building’ although on March 13 they accepted the vaccination.
“I asked the whole team to consider the possibility of staying in Qatar between test days and races, to avoid any risk of contagion of the Covid-19 virus during travel and staying at home with friends and families,” Explain Shinichi Sahara, Suzuki project manager and head of that committee of experts created to replace Brivio. “Everyone accepted, including the drivers Joan Mir and Alex Rins, and this makes me very proud of the group that we are.”
“When they told me that we were the only team staying in Qatar, including the drivers, I thought: ‘Wow, I should be proud of my people’ and perhaps we are proving once again that we are the most united team, as we face this difficult situation all together, as a strong group and a family ”.
The two drivers are once again an example as visible heads of Suzuki and continue with their training sessions and spend time with the other members of the team. It has been a choice motivated by responsibility says the World Champion Joan Mir: “I have decided to stay in Qatar as an act of responsibility, regarding the risk of contagion in travel, both for ourselves and for others. I want to protect myself and my loved ones, but also my team, which strives to start the season in the best way. I would not feel comfortable being at home with my friends and my family knowing that my team and the whole team is in Qatar with limitations and sacrifice. Besides, we are lucky because we stay in a very nice hotel and they treat us very well ”.
Alex Rins is in the same vein as his teammate: “So we can create a complete bubble in which the Suzuki team is all together, with no exceptions. First of all, this means that we are more confident, and we can also be calmer thinking about the next races ”.
The team is enjoying some alternative activities like go-karting, cycling and track days on minibikes, along with more structured training. “We are taking advantage of this time to do some team building activities, which is something that we like and that we try to do once or twice a year, and now we have the perfect opportunity. Being away from home is an effort for all of us, so we are trying to enjoy the time as well as possible. We are not allowed to leave the hotel or visit the common areas of the hotel, since we are in the MotoGP bubble, so my routine is largely based on the facilities that we have at our disposal: food in the restaurant, gym in the hotel and some training with mini-bikes on the circuit, ”says Sahara-San.
The bubble system for these five weeks in Qatar establishes that the team cannot leave the hotel for anything other than going to the circuit. Meals and activities should take place in special areas of the hotel (luxury with a private beach) to which the public does not have access, so that team members run the least risk of contracting or spreading the virus.