World Superbike: Razgatlioglu P1, Gerloff P4 In FP2 At Estoril (Updated)

World Superbike: Razgatlioglu P1, Gerloff P4 In FP2 At Estoril (Updated)

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

WSBK FP2

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:

Razgatlioglu P1 at Estoril ahead of Redding after unpredictable Day 1

Razgatlioglu vs Redding may well be the battle to follow as the weekend unfolds in Portugal…

 

Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy Dorna.
Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship takes to the Circuito Estoril this weekend and after a sunny opening Friday to start the Round, patterns are already emerging. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was shining brightly like in 2020, but the opposition are right behind him with very little to split them going into the remainder of the weekend, with three different manufacturers inside the top three.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) was once again on fine form in the hotter afternoon session at the Circuito Estoril, with the Turkish rider putting in a strong run of fast laps to head the majority of FP2 and therefore, both sessions, despite a closing-stages off-track excursion. Teammate Andrea Locatelli was also looking in good shape, with the Italian rookie quietly chipping away and making progress throughout day one, finishing 11th. With both the factory Yamahas looking in-form and one at the head of the field, it is a strong start to one of the favourite manufacturers this weekend.

 

Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) put together a 19-lap run on the SCX tyre throughout the afternoon, with numerous laps inside the 1’37s bracket. The British rider was second in FP2, and second overall on the combined times, as he aims to cement another challenge to the top this weekend. Teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi had it a little bit quieter in the afternoon, as he improved his time and dipped into the 1’37s, placing third in FP2 with a final flying lap to propel him up the order and to fifth overall.

 

Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy Dorna
Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Championship leader and reigning six-time World Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) placed third overall and fifth in the afternoon session, as he got about dialing himself into the Circuito Estoril layout. He had good company though, as Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) took fourth place overall behind teammate Rea, with the Kawasakis not on top after the opening day of action, much like MotorLand Aragon. Both riders are relying on their morning time, as neither improved in the afternoon session.

Leading the charge for the Independent riders was Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), with the American once again shining on his way to sixth overall. However, he was joined by three other Independent riders in an opening day that showcased great pace from the non-factory entrants. Eugene Laverty (RC Squadra Corse) had his best day of the season so far as he placed seventh overall, ahead of Chaz Davies (Team GoEleven) and Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Racing), both of whom were eighth and ninth combined. For Davies, the afternoon session saw him suffer a technical issue, meaning he missed the majority of the session. Completing the top ten overall was the top factory BMW and Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), although he crashed at Turn 1 in FP2. Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) and Isaac Viñales (ORELAC Racing VerdNatura) will hope to be in the fight for the Independents as they were 17th and 19th respectively.

There were all sorts of issues for Michael van der Mark (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team), as he missed almost the entirety of Free Practice 1 in the morning, before having a clearer run at things in the afternoon to finish 12th overall. Alvaro Bautista (Team HRC) crashed not once, twice but three times throughout the course of the day, as he suffered one of his worst Fridays to finish 15th on the combined times. Teammate Leon Haslam didn’t do much better, as he was only 13th.

Tito Rabat crashed at Turn 4 in FP2 on his way to 14th overall, but it was Kohta Nozane (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) who was 18th but suffered a huge crash at Turn 13 which sent his motorcycle cartwheeling through the air. He went to the medical centre and was thankfully declared fit. Christophe Ponsson (Alstare Yamaha) also suffered a spill at Turn 9 but re-joined. Samuele Cavalieri (TPR Team Pedercini Racing) suffered technical issues in the afternoon session, although he finished ahead of teammate Loris Cresson, with both 21st and 22nd respectively.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team HRC:

Team HRC work on set-up to exploit the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE’s speed at Estoril

The 2021 Superbike World Championship continues this weekend at the Portuguese track of Estoril, where Team HRC and factory riders Alvaro Bautista and Leon Haslam have completed the day’s free practice sessions, concentrating on the setup of the bike.

Two small crashes in the morning session and one in the afternoon, all unexpected and without consequences, prevented Alvaro Bautista from doing better than 13th in FP2 and fifteenth in the combined standings with a best time of 1’38.469, despite the Spanish rider being among those who improved on their performance after the first session. Bautista had been working with his team on a set-up that appeared promising at the previous Aragón round but that needs to be adapted to the Portuguese track to allow him to take full advantage of the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE’s speed.

Leon Haslam worked in a similar direction with his technicians and was also able to improve on his best time of the morning by a fraction of a second during the afternoon’s session, despite higher track temperatures. The British rider rounded out FP2 in 12th position (1’38.427), which placed him thirteenth in the combined standings.

 

Alvaro Bautista (19). Photo courtesy Team HRC
Alvaro Bautista (19). Photo courtesy Team HRC.

 

Alvaro Bautista  19

COMBINED P15

“I feel good physically and haven’t hurt myself but the day didn’t go as we expected or wanted. I started the first session fast and strong and felt I could push because my feeling with the bike was quite good. But then I crashed without any real reason; I just lost the front through turn 3 at full lean. The bike wasn’t too damaged, and the team did well to fix it quickly, but unfortunately I then had another crash. At Aragón we made some changes to the set-up that looked promising, and we wanted to try them again in the ideal conditions we had today. In the afternoon we reverted to a more standard set-up, but the session was kind of a repeat of the morning. Good feeling, good speed but I crashed in the first corner of the second lap without warning. At that point, I lost a little confidence and so although we were a bit faster than in session one, I rode a little more carefully. We will now try and understand what happened. We definitely have some ideas for tomorrow and can better understand the bike’s limit. A pity about today though as I felt so strong during the morning. Tomorrow is another day anyway, and we just have to put it all together and better exploit our potential”.

 

Leon Haslam (91). Photo courtesy Team HRC
Leon Haslam (91). Photo courtesy Team HRC.

 

Leon Haslam  91

COMBINED P13

“It’s been a difficult day and unfortunately it looks like some of the Aragón setup issues have carried over to this round, at least today. On a positive side, we made a few steps towards the end of the second session but we still have work to do, I think. We will analyse the data carefully this evening and see what we can find during tomorrow’s final practice. Hopefully we can improve our feeling and take another step before the Superpole and Race 1”.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Clean Sweep As Razgatlıoğlu Tops Free Practice in Estoril

Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK rider Toprak Razgatlıoğlu took a clean sweep as the fastest rider in both Free Practice sessions, as the second round of the 2021 FIM Superbike World Championship began at Circuito Estoril today.

Razgatlıoğlu set a blisteringly-quick lap time at the end of Free Practice 1, more than half a second clear of his nearest rival, with a 1’36.920. As track surface temperatures rose this afternoon to 45°C – putting stress on tyre wear similar to that expected during Race 1 tomorrow – only Ducati’s Scott Redding came close, finishing the day 0.414s down on Razgatlıoğlu’s quickest time.

Teammate Andrea Locatelli continued to work diligently on the opposite side of the pit box, completing another promising race simulation in the afternoon session, providing plenty of data to analyse and improve as the young Italian gets further to grips with the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK.

With both points and podiums up for grabs tomorrow afternoon, the team will have one final Free Practice 3 session including 30 minutes of track time available to prepare for the Superpole at 11:10 (UTC+1) and Race 1 at 14:00.

 

Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy Yamaha
Toprak Razgatlioglu (54). Photo courtesy Yamaha.

 

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu: P1 – 1’36.920

“It was a very good day in Estoril! We know from last year that me and my Yamaha R1 can be very strong at this circuit, but like I said at the start of the week – we are not coming here relaxed. Today we did some very good work with my team, which will be very important for the race. And also today we managed to be in first position in Free Practice, which I am happy about, we worked well to see how the performance is in the long run and how the bike reaction is after 15 laps. Speed and rhythm are both quite good, I’m happy with both so far and I think we are ready to race tomorrow.”

 

Andrea Locatelli (55). Photo courtesy Yamaha
Andrea Locatelli (55). Photo courtesy Yamaha.

 

Andrea Locatelli: P11 – 1’38.254

“The first day was not so bad, we worked very well. It’s not easy this track for me, it is a little bit strange with the Yamaha R1 because I have a reference from last year with the R6. But okay, the feeling in general with the bike is very, very good, but we need to work tomorrow on the braking because it is a bit of a weak point where I don’t have a brilliant feeling. In general though, my confidence is good and I was able to make my fastest lap time during the long run which will be helpful during the race. I think we can make an improvement tomorrow morning during FP3, then for sure we will be ready for the race. It’s just the second full race weekend with the Yamaha R1 WorldSBK and I am sure we can get closer to the front.”

Paul Denning – Team Principal

“We came to Estoril hoping that last year’s performances would stand us in good stead for this race and, based on today’s potential, we’re very happy that the improvements to the 2021 Yamaha R1 WorldSBK have helped us to take another step at a track that was already good for the bike. Toprak has dominated proceedings today both in terms of best lap time and race simulation rhythm. However, Redding in particular also made a good long run and the Kawasaki riders showed good consistency and are bound to improve for the races. So, we need to stay focused and keep working on the small details. Andrea met his targets today, into the top 10 in FP2 less than a second from the best lap time, with another race simulation completed this afternoon. He’s chipping away all the time and we just need to see a little bit more raw pace on the fresh tyres and then he’ll be right there with the front group.”

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Rea And Lowes In The Early Top Spots

KRT riders Jonathan Rea and Alex Lowes finished third and fourth fastest respectively in the combined practice times after the opening day of action at the second round of the FIM Superbike World Championship at Estoril in Portugal.

With just under three minutes left on the clock in the afternoon’s FP2 practice session KRT riders Rea and Lowes were looking to move up the overall rankings, until a red flag was shown to stop the session to protect a fallen rider.

With just one chance to potentially improve their lap times in the three minutes that remained Rea and Lowes, like most of their rivals, did not find a faster lap but remained third and fourth fastest due to their morning FP1 session best laps.

Rea is now working on final set-up for an even better entry to the many corners at the almost stadium-style Estoril circuit to try and extend his championship lead after the three Aragon races.

Lowes spent a lot of Friday learning more about the new Ninja ZX-10RR on a track that the KRT duo has not testing at during the off-season.

Warm track temperatures well into the 40°C range have made the feedback from the track surface very different from when Jonathan and Alex previously raced at Estoril in the 2020 season finale, in October.

Final grid positions will be determined after FP3, in the Tissot Superpole session on Saturday 29 May. A 21-lap Race One will follow on Saturday and then the Tissot Superpole Race and Race Two will complete the Estoril weekend on Sunday 30 May.

 

Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Jonathan Rea (1). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Jonathan Rea, stated: “The red flag gave us a chance to try something different on the bike. I am struggling on the last part of braking to stop the bike. Trail braking into the corner is an area we need to focus on to improve for Saturday. Everything else felt quite good – mechanical traction, the agility of the bike, even turning, which was something I felt weak with last year. I am just not comfortable on the brakes, but I am sure if we find this it will put us closer to Toprak. He is really in his own race at the minute but I feel like I am in there in the battle for the podium. We need to improve a little bit to fight for better positions tomorrow. It is quite bumpy out there, especially the stadium section, after the little chicane, but I feel the bike is working quite well over the bumps.”

 

Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.
Alex Lowes (22). Photo courtesy Kawasaki.

 

Alex Lowes, stated: “We had a good day. The track conditions we had this afternoon were a lot hotter than the ones we had for the race weekend in October, and a lot hotter than we had this morning in FP1. I wanted them to be hot to be honest, to see how I feel on the bike. I felt quite good, I used the same tyres as I had this morning to start the second session and was still able to go quite fast. Then I put some new tyres on and tried to do a longer run. I struggled a bit with a full tank, on the bottom of the suspension a little bit. I was going to ride right to the end but then the red flag came out, so I came in and we made a small adjustment. Even on the very last lap, on the same tyres I had been riding on, I felt quite good. We have a bit of direction and I feel a lot better than I did last October, so I am looking forward to tomorrow. I understand where I can improve my riding, especially in the second sector.”

Kawasaki Puccetti Racing rider Lucas Mahias placed 16th today, while Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki rider Isaac Vinales went 19th fastest. Samuele Cavalieri and Loris Cresson (TPR Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) were 21st and 22nd in the timesheets, respectively.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:

#EstorilWSBK FP. Solid start for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team: Scott Redding and Michael Rinaldi respectively 2nd and 5th after Friday’s free practices

The second round of the 2021 WorldSBK season starts offering positive feelings to the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team. Both Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi work hard in the free practices and in the afternoon they manage to significantly improve the lap times set in the morning, to finish respectively in second and fifth position in the combined standings.

FP1

Solid session for Scott Redding who laps with an extremely incisive pace. With the same tire, the English rider completes a race simulation (23 laps against the 21 scheduled) remaining at the top of the provisional standings for a long time before the last run in which all the direct opponents take to the track with the new tire.

Michael Rinaldi starts FP1 with determination but the feeling is not the best yet and the soft tire put in the last part of the session does not give any advantage in terms of lap time, too

FP2

After the convincing FP1, also in FP2 Scott Redding takes the track for a second race simulation with the same tire, confirming the positive feelings of the morning. At the end of the session, the English rider tries a time attack with the soft tire but the red flag at 3 minutes to go does not allow him to find the ideal conditions.

Michael Rinaldi’s growth seems to be constant. The Italian rider works with his team on the set up of the Ducati Panigale V4 R and in the second session the feeling grows in a tangible way allowing him in the final run to close with the third time.

 

Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy Dorna
Scott Redding (45). Photo courtesy Dorna.

 

Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)

“In the afternoon we tried the soft tires and the feeling was not bad. I still cannot say for sure what my choice will be for the race but in these two sessions, we have collected very important data. In any case, I’m confident to have a good race tomorrow because last year, despite the problems in qualifying and in Race-1, I felt very comfortable on this track. It’s clear that it will be important to do a good qualifying session to start in the front”.

 

Michael Ruben Rinaldi (21). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (21). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)

“We arrive in Portugal after the difficult weekend in Aragon. Since FP1, therefore, our approach has been different: we tried to learn from last week’s mistakes and I think this day has been positive. The third place in FP2 and the fifth in the combined standings are two encouraging results, especially on this track that I don’t consider one of my favorites. We still have FP3 to work on but I’m confident that we can do a good result in the race”.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:

MORNING AT WORK ON USED TYRES, AFTERNOON WATCHING FROM THE PITS!

A positive Friday in the morning, difficult in the afternoon for the Go Eleven team on the Estoril track in Portugal.

In FP 1 Chaz entered the track to evaluate the race pace with a view to Saturday and Sunday. Lap after lap he improved his best lap, he always remains among the top of the standings. Over 20 laps always around 37 high / 38 low, carried out without changing tyres, have shown that the number seven has already entered race mode. At the end of the session, several riders put on the SCX soft tyre, making a clear step forward. Here, on the Portuguese ups and downs, it is to be considered whether the soft tyre will be able to complete all the laps of the race.

In the afternoon, the Go Eleven technicians had studied a busy schedule, both to test a new solution on the front, and to evaluate the SCX on the rear. Unfortunately, already from the first lap Chaz felt something strange on his V4-R, and, after four laps, he was forced to stop in the pits. A technical problem forced him to watch the whole session from the outside, without having the opportunity to express his potential. Really a shame, especially because FP 2 are important for the continuation of the weekend, as FP 2 normally take place in similar conditions to those of the two main races. That’s racing, and tomorrow it will be up to recover the time lost. FP 3 will be crucial to get ready for qualifying!

Tomorrow h11.10 to 11.25 it’s Superpole time and following, at 14.00 Portuguese time it will be Race 1 time!

 

Chaz Davies (7). Photo courtesy Team Go Eleven.
Chaz Davies (7). Photo courtesy Team Go Eleven.

 

Chaz Davies (Rider):

“This morning was ok, in the FP 1 we were more or less in the right area. I had a few things to try for FP 2; unfortunately I had a problem from the beginning of the session and it didn’t allowed me to get going and then we had a technical problem and I just had to stop. So, I had zero chance to evaluate anything this afternoon, which is a shame because obviously the race will be run in these temperature, at least the two main races. It’s a big shame not to take any data from the session. But, it is what it is, now we have to work well tomorrow morning in FP 3, even in the cooler conditions, then do a great Superpole and then hopefully we can have a good race. Obviously without data the set-up of the bike is a bit difficult, but we have to try our best!”

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing Team:

Bittersweet day for Barni Racing Team after Free Practice sessions at Estoril

Estoril (POR), 28 May 2021. For Barni Racing Team and his rider Tito Rabat it was a bittersweet day the opening day at Circuito de Estoril, Portugal. After good lap times and good pace showed in the Free Practice 1, ended in P11 in a very tight timesheet, the Catalan rider lose his positive feelings with the bike in Free Practice 2, where he suffered a crash.

Tito started the second round of WorldSBK Championship improving his best time lap by lap until a positive 1’38.469 that placed him in P11, but the timesheet saw ten riders packed in less than a second from P2 to P11.

During the afternoon session the temperatures rose, especially on tarmac, and Rabat lose the feeling with his Ducati Panigale V4 R. In the first part of the session he suffered a crash losing the front, but he was able to come back to the box where mechanics put him back on track in few minutes. Tito completed the session but he was not able to improve his faster lap. The time signed in 1’38.710 saw him in P17 in FP2 but in the combined results he was P14.

 

Tito Rabat (53). Photo courtesy Barni Racing Team.
Tito Rabat (53). Photo courtesy Barni Racing Team.

 

Tito Rabat, #53

“We are looking for a path allowing us to be fast even in with hotter temperatures. In that condition I can’t ride confortably, and that’s why I crashed today. We know where to work, but we definitely need to take a step forward to be competitive in every situation.”

Marco Barnabò – Team Principal

“During this morning’s session Tito found the right feeling, so we made very few changes on the bike’s setup but, as happened at Aragon, we are struggling when the temperatures rise. Now it is clear that our bike suffers more than others from these changes and we are working to find a good base on the setup even in this condition.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by GRT Yamaha:

Gerloff takes GRT into the Top-5, Nozane runs his first laps at Estoril on Day 1

Five days after the chequered flag flew in Aragón, the FIM Superbike World Championship teams were back on track today at the Circuito do Estoril for the start of the second round of the season. The long sweeping corners of the Portuguese track tend to favour the Yamaha R1, a bike which excels at carrying high speeds through the turns, as proven by the all-Yamaha podium of the Superpole Race last October.

For the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team, the approach to the weekend took two different directions: on Garrett Gerloff’s side of the garage, the focus lay on fine-tuning the setup of his bike in order to fight for the top positions, as the American wants to repeat last year’s stellar performance. It was not all smooth sailing for him, though, as at the end of the first day he was not fully satisfied with the bike’s setup, despite some solid laptimes. Kohta Nozane’s crew, instead, worked on getting him acquainted with yet another brand-new track on what is his second-ever WorldSBK weekend. After a solid first round in Aragón, the Japanese wants to keep improving, but his work plan was hampered by a crash suffered during the FP2.

Today, Gerloff showed yet again that he has the speed and raw talent to fight for the top, but some setup problems did not allow him to extract the R1’s full potential. In the morning session he was eighth thanks to a 1’38.074, and he still could not feel completely comfortable with the bike in the FP2, which was affected by much higher track temperatures (43°C compared to the morning’s 31°C). He still managed to set a 1’37.826, fast enough for fourth position, demonstrating that, if tomorrow’s setup adjustments prove to be effective, he will be in the hunt for the podium again.

It was not an easy Friday for Nozane either. The rookie’s plan for the day was to progressively get more comfortable on the new circuit in order to get quicker and quicker on the stopwatch. After a 1’39.607 put him in the 18th position in the FP1, the Japanese was not able to improve as much as he expected in the afternoon, and a highside in turn 13 cut his session short. He was uninjured, but the bike required extensive repairs. He therefore ended the FP2 yet again in 18th place, but his 1’39.036 still represented a step in the right direction. Running more laps tomorrow will undoubtedly help him get closer to the front.

Garrett Gerloff: 8th / 4th (1’37.826, 34 laps)

“We were not bad today, but it was a bit confusing. I was expecting to have a better feeling with the bike and the track right away, but the conditions were hotter than last year, and this made it more difficult for us. We made some progress throughout the day and we are still in the top 6, but both me and Les (Pearson, chief engineer) are slightly confused by the situation. We need to work on the bike some more and I have to work on myself, but this track suits the Yamaha very well and, if we figure our problems out, we can head into tomorrow’s race with confidence. Our troubles were different from session to session and it is hard to pinpoint one main issue, and that’s what is confusing me. Today we ended up spending more time in the pits than I would have liked, so tomorrow we will take full advantage of the FP3 to run more laps.”

Kohta Nozane: 18th / 18th (1’39.036, 36 laps)

Today was my absolute first time here in Estoril, so it was a big challenge. I focused on learning as much as possible since the beginning and on doing my best, but in the FP2 the conditions were much hotter and my pace did not improve, which is not what I was expecting. We tried the SCX tyre to go faster, but I made a mistake and crashed. The bike is damaged and the team is fixing it, and I feel really sorry. I really appreciate their effort to support me, and tomorrow I want to bring home the best possible result to thank them.”

Our riders will be back on track tomorrow morning for another session of Free Practice at 9 AM, followed by the Superpole at 11:10 AM and by Race 1 at 2 PM, local time.

 

 

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team complete the opening day of the WorldSBK Estoril Round.

Following on from an impressive opening round at the MotorLand Aragon circuit, the BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team duo of Tom Sykes (GBR) and Michael van der Mark (NED) today completed day 1 of the WorldSBK round in Estoril.

In the opening FP1 session Michael van der Mark’s BMW M1000 RR unfortunately had some technical issues which forced him to miss most of the session, only completing 4 laps and as a result finishing in P16. Team-mate Tom Sykes completed 16 laps in the first free practice session, with the fastest lap time of a 1’38.170, putting him in P9.

The afternoons FP2 session saw an increase in track temperature, which made the session difficult for all competitors. Despite that, it held better fortune for Michael van der Mark as he managed to gain some valuable laps around the 4.182 km circuit lapping his best of a 1’38.293 in P12, narrowly missing out on the top 10 combined places.

Tom Sykes had a small crash at T1 during the final session of the day, however, was able to bring the bike back to the garage with only cosmetic damage. In the final moments of FP2 a crash from Yamaha rider Kohta Nozane (JPN) brought out the red flag with 3 minutes remaining, leaving a short 3-minute revised session. Tom was able to capitalize on this as he improved his lap time on the last lap with a 1’38.039, putting him in P10 overall.

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director

“Of course, this morning in FP1 was not very promising. With Michael we had an issue with electronics which meant he lost most of FP1 unfortunately. The progression he made into FP2 however was good and made up the lost time from the morning, he did a good couple of runs and although the conditions in the afternoon were very hot from this morning, still managed to be close to the top 10.  Tom had an OK FP1. Then in FP2 he pressed out a good lap at the end on the used “X” tyre to put him into the top 10, so overall fairly satisfied with the opening day.”

Tom Sykes

“We stayed on the same tyre during this morning’s FP1 session which meant we significantly dropped down the order in the latter stages of the session. Then this afternoon in the hot conditions it was tricky, we needed to do some trial-and-error tests but in the end, we found some positive information which was good. We had a small crash during the session, but big credit to the boys as they soon put the beauty back together again, so we were back on track with fairly limited track time lost. Overall good information today, we do know its going to be difficult track conditions for everybody tomorrow, but certainly now we hope to make some good improvements tomorrow.”

Michael van der Mark

“It was not an easy Friday, unfortunately this morning we lost most of the session with a technical problem, which was a lot of important time lost. Then this afternoon’s session we went out, but in the opening stages I struggled with the grip of the bike. We made some changes during the session which was a big improvement, and I was able to improve my lap time which I was happy about. For us, the most important thing is to complete a full session tomorrow morning and make some progress from today.”

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