Suzuki suffered its toughest event of the MotoGP season so far at Le Mans, where Alex Rins crashed for the third race in a row and Joan Mir also failed to finish after missing the chance to re-join from an early accident of his own.

Reigning world champion Mir was caught out by the early downpour, falling as he prepared to head into the pits to change over to his wet bike.

"I'm really disappointed. I didn't expect that crash, it was so unpredictable, there was a lot of water on the track and we were on slick tyres," said Mir, who had qualified 14th but was up to ninth.

"I was not pushing, I was just going to the box. I don't even know if I lost the front or the rear, but the bike disappeared."

While Mir couldn't be too hard on himself for falling with slick tyres in the rain, he was less forgiving of his reaction afterwards.

If the Spaniard had been able to get the fallen dry bike back to the pits, he could have switched over to his wet bike and continued the race.

But in the confusion of what was his first ever flag-to-flag race, rather than trying to restart the slightly damaged bike, Mir bolted back to the pits on foot.

"With the adrenaline and everything I made a mistake because I saw the bike was not running and then I started to run to the box without any sense," he said.

"I have to learn from this experience because I already knew that I had to come back with the bike to the box to rejoin the race. But at that time I made a mistake and sorry to the team. It's something I cannot repeat again.

"A shame because I felt really good potential in the dry and also the wet, the warm-up was really positive and I expected to be there in front with the guys. But this is racing."

Mir's non-score means he has slipped to sixth in the world championship and 31 points from Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha). Of the riders ahead of Mir, Sunday's winner Jack Miller and fellow Ducati rider Johann Zarco have also suffered one '0' so far.

"During a championship battle there are always some races where you make a mistake and take some zero. If it is only one time, then this is really good, no?" Mir said. "But this is something that was not on my plan today.

"I made a good start, good first laps and could overtake in dry conditions to go forward so I’m really happy for this and the feeling was really good. But then the rain came."

But if Mir was rueing a missed opportunity, Rins "don't know what to say" after falling twice during the race, meaning he hasn't taken a world championship point since leaving Qatar.

While Mir didn't make it to the pits, Rins did successfully change over to his wet bike, only to fall moments after re-joining the track.

"Sincerely, it was a big shame the heavy rain, because I said yesterday to my team that in dry condition we were able to finish on the podium," said Rins, who climbed from 15th to third in the early race laps.

"Then, you saw it, a perfect start, perfect laps in the beginning. Then when it started to rain, we risk a lot in those conditions, all the riders, because it was a big, big water.

"I exited from the box, and usually in that corner, Turn 4, in the practice we don't use the brake, and this time exiting from pit lane in the race, I braked a little bit with the front to turn, and I lost the front.

"Then I went inside to change again the bike and we started with medium-soft [wets], but the biggest problem was the dry setup for the wet bike. I struggled a little bit the first laps to warm the tyres, but in the brakes, in general I was feeling the bike too hard, not smooth. A bit aggressive, and I lost the front again."

Rins had been in 19th when he fell for the second time, with 12 laps to go.

"Today we did the impossible, I mean, I recover 10 position on the first laps, I entered in the box and I changed bikes so fast, I recovered one position, and then a stupid crash again.

"It's true that I am crashing a lot this season, I am taking all the crashes we didn't have in the last two years," he added. "I don't know what to say because I'm feeling good, I'm working hard at home with all the staff, and this sometimes happens.

"It's a bit tough, in these moments to see the guys in the team not high. We are passing through a difficult moment, 3 crashes in the last 3 races, is not easy. For me it's hard too. But I will try to fight in Mugello. This is all we can do now."

Rins is twelfth in the world championship and 57 points behind Quartararo.

 

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