There were no signs of jetlag or fatigue as the 125cc riders took to the track for the first free practice session of the San Marino Grand Prix this afternoon, despite the fact that it is barely five days since they were last on track at the Indianapolis circuit in the USA. Understandably it was home rider Andrea Iannone who came out with all guns blazing but Bancaja’s Julian Simón was quick to react. Despite favourable conditions the pace was still some way off the 2008 lap record of 1:43.839 but there was plenty suggest that the heat will rise both literally and figuratively before Sunday’s showdown.
Simón had sat atop the time sheets for much of the session, at one point improving on his best effort on four consecutive laps, before bring usurped by Bradley Smith whilst the third Bancaja rider Sergio Gadea struggled with engine problems at the start of the session and despite only hitting full speed in the final twenty minutes he managed the sixth fastest time…
2nd Julián Simón 1.45.620 (21 laps):
“The truth is that I’m really happy with this first day of practice here at Misano. This circuit is more suited to my riding style and I was able to go quick from the start. It was a shame that the wind hindered us so much but the important thing is that the Aprilia worked well from the start. We have found a good set-up already and only need to adjust a couple of things tomorrow to improve the lap times, which are some way off the record. I took things easy at the start until I knew everything was in place and then started to push and consolidate my place at the top.”
6th Sergio Gadea 1.46.120 (20 laps):
“We had a few problems at the start because the engine kept cutting out and it wasn’t until twenty minutes from the end that I was able to put some laps together. Anyway, we made good use of the time available and I’m happy because we put a new cylinder in and it really improved the engine performance. We set our best lap on a tyre that had twenty laps on it, whereas most of the other riders set theirs on new rubber, so that’s a good sign for the race. I’m happy because I felt comfortable from the start and I think this is a circuit where we can be fighting for the podium. We just need to adjust the gearing a little to give me more when I open the gas and after being a little nervous today I think I’ll be more relaxed tomorrow and faster as a result.”
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