Mapfre Aspar riders taking things step by step
With an unusual opening round in Qatar behind them the Moto2 riders were back in Europe and back into a more normal routine today as free practice got underway under the Spanish sunshine at Jerez. Stefan Bradl did his best to continue his dominance from two weeks ago and although he was on the pace again the field was much closer together. Just over a second covered the top twenty riders, Thomas Luthi the fastest of them and Julián Simón the quickest Spaniard.
It was a positive start for MAPFRE Aspar rider Simón, who worked hard on his set-up with used tyres to ensure maximum preparation for the demands of Sunday’s race. His best effort was his last of the day, bringing him within sixth tenths of Luthi and fifth fastest overall. His team-mate Xavi Forés was also on the pace in the morning session but the MAPFRE Aspar rookie struggled in the afternoon after making changes to his front-end set-up. Just over a second off the fastest lap but down in 20th place, Xavi at least knows that one step backwards tomorrow can lead to several steps forward.
5th Julián Simón 1.44.153 (30 laps): “Today was very positive, we have started better here than in Qatar. We have taken things step by step and had to contend with the strong winds this afternon, which were partly the reason why the lap times were not as fast as in winter testing. I am pleased with my feeling on the bike, we completed a lot of laps on used tyres with the race in mind and when I put a fresh one on I was able close the gap to the top quite easily. I could have gone faster if we had time for another couple of laps. It has hard to make predictions but the lap times between the top ten are close and I think we will all be fighting for the podium on Sunday.”
20th Xavi Forés 1.44.799 (31 laps): “This morning’s session went quite well, we ended up six tenths off third place and I felt comfortable on the bike. We changed the sterring angle this afternoon to try and get the bike turning more sweetly but it didn’t work and we didn’t have time to change it back. The important thing from today was our pace this morning and tomorrow it will be a case of taking a backward step to get on the right path again. My objective is to finish in the top fifteen, which won’t be easy but I don’t think it’s impossible.”
Source: Mapfre Aspar