French GP – Team Friday Quotes

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1st Álvaro Bautista 1.39.302 (25 laps):
“It has been a good first day and even though it rained a little during MotoGP the weather has been good to us and we were able to work for the whole session. We had a few small problems with changing direction but we’ve worked well on that aspect and I was able to keep up a good pace. We can still improve corner entry and I’m not completely comfortable under hard braking. The track temperature tends to be low here so we didn’t want to take any risks but if the weather stays decent tomorrow we’ll try a harder tyre. The key is to get the bike as stable as possible, which is what we’ll aim for tomorrow. It is important to have this result in the first session but we have to stay focused because everybody will improve tomorrow.”

3rd Mike Di Meglio 1.39.501 (23 laps):
“I’m very happy – this is the first time I’ve enjoyed myself on the bike from the first session of a Grand Prix. In previous rounds I’ve been making mistakes, especially under braking, but this time I got a feeling for my Aprilia from the first laps. The bike is working perfectly and that allowed me to build up my confidence. We tried a new cylinder today and the truth is the difference was very noticeable. Hopefully we can keep going like this all weekend. I love this track and I’d love to get a good result here. Even though we’ve made a good start I want to keep working hard tomorrow to get a good grid position. Apart from the engine update we’ve also tried a new position on the bike to try and combat some pain in my right forearm and it worked well.”

17th Ángel Rodríguez 1.41.403 (19 laps):
“To be honest I was pretty uncomfortable throughout that session because I’m not used to riding the Aprilia, which is normal considering that I usually ride a four-stroke. I also had a few problems with my leathers, which made me even less comfortable, so I’m happy with the result. I was expecting my first ride to be more difficult than this and despite the problems we’ve done a good job. I was pushing a bit too hard before the crash and I think that was why it happened. I still don’t have a good feeling under braking but sometimes it is good to make a mistake and know why it happened so that you can make sure it doesn’t happen again. The key to making improvements will be to get a lot more laps in and get used to the bike because it is so new to me. If we do that then my confidence will build up as a result.”


2nd Julián Simón 1.45.469 (21 laps):
“I’m happy because we were expecting worse weather than this and in the end it was dry. We tried to prepare the bike as much as possible within the hour and get ready for Sunday. I think we’re on the right lines, we just need to improve the feeling with the front in three corners. I’m satisfied because once again the team is looking strong. I did a practice start because I think it is the area we need to focus on the most at the moment – to get away well and run at the front from the first lap. It has been a good day so hopefully we can follow it up with more work in dry conditions tomorrow. Either way I think it will be like Jerez in that there will be three or four riders fighting it out.”

3rd Sergio Gadea 1.45.486 (22 laps):
“I set a good pace throughout the session – firstly lapping on my own and then in a group. I like this circuit a lot and I feel highly motivated, thanks partly to my second place at Jerez. There was a moment in the session when we lost our way a little but I quickly got my feeling back with the Aprilia. I’ve said all season so far that there are a couple of riders who are ahead of the rest but I feel we’re closing the gap. We’ve focused on building my confidence with the set-up today and we’ve taken a step forward although we still have work to do tomorrow. The engine on the Aprilia worked perfectly, allowing us to focus on geometry.”

5th Bradley Smith 1.46.087 (21 laps):
“We spent a lot of time testing things today – nothing new, just making sure that the settings we had before Jerez are still working. I could have done with a few more laps because I was only able to push for two laps and I’m sure I could have improved more. Anyway, it’s only the first day and I’m close to the top guys so I’m satisfied and convinced that we’ve made a good start. We have some work to do tomorrow but we’re optimistic and confident we’ll be ready for Sunday.”

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