Simon taking it step by step, Forés not concerned with position
The second night’s action at the Grand Prix of Qatar saw a single 45-minute session for the Moto2 class, as the teams and riders worked to refine their settings ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial qualifying session. The favourites for the first victory of the season are starting to emerge, with Stefan Bradl setting the pace tonight but Simón, Márquez, Iannone and Takahasi also looking in good form. Unlike last year the gaps between the riders are extending as the weekend progresses and it seems the days of twenty riders in the same second are a thing of the past.
Julián Simón is patiently and gradually finding the best way around the Losail circuit, the MAPFRE Aspar man riding cautiously today after a crash yesterday. After nine laps this evening he improved his best time and on his final circulation of fifteen he went faster again, a 2’02.005 enough to place him fifth. Having found six tenths in just a single session the Spaniard is looking for an other step forward tomorrow to secure a good position on the grid. His team-mate Xavi Forés, on the other hand, was unable to carry on from the positive start he made yesterday. Still struggling from an injury he picked up in testing at Jerez, the rookie did improve the front suspension setting of his Suter machine and managed to lap nineteenth fastest.
5th Julián Simón 2.02.005 (15 laps): “Today we took a little step forward with the set-up but Bradl is looking really impressive and setting a very fast pace. We’re taking it step by step and hopefully tomorrow we can close the gap again. I felt more comfortable on the bike this afternoon, I had more confidence and that makes it easy to weight up the changes. Our pace is pretty good, we need to find something in the final sector and the objective is to be fighting for the front row tomorrow. Qualifying will be tough but we have another day to take that step forward that we need. I am happy with today and the team are doing a good job to help me find the right way forward.”
19th Xavi Forés 2.03.167 (13 laps): “I found it more difficult today because the hand was really painful at the start, especially under hard braking and opening the throttle out of the right turns. We will keep working through with our mind set on the race. We have to adapt to the category and for that reason I am not too concerned at my position at the moment because little by little we will get there. The important thing for us now is to make a plan for the race and for my hand to recover. We played around with the front end a little today and the results were good so we are optimistic.”
Source: Mapfre Aspar Team