Terol Second Fastest On Day One At Motegi
The names of Nico Terol, Maverick Viñales and Johann Zarco rung out loudest on the PA system at Motegi today as the two Spaniards and the Frenchman took the top three positions in free practice for the Grand Prix of Japan. Terol was fastest in the morning, Viñales in the afternoon, with Zarco second in both. Jonas Folger was the only other rider able to lap in the 1’59s although the German is three tenths off the leading trio with lap times in general down on previous years due largely to the newly relaid Motegi asphalt.
BANKIA Aspar rider Nico Terol set his fastest lap of the day in the opening session, clocking a 1’59.436 that left him on top of the pile over lunch although it wasn’t enough to keep him there in the afternoon. The Spaniard was relegated to second by just a tenth and after showing signs of his pace today he is looking forward to making a strong challenge for pole tomorrow. Adrián Martín made an excellent start to the weekend, lapping inside the top ten in both of today’s sessions on the back of a morale boosting result at Aragon. The youngster was sixth overall, one place ahead of the team’s third rider Héctor Faubel. The experienced Spaniard has some lingering problems from the back injury he suffered at Motorland but he was able to get his pace together in the afternoon after suffering a mechanical setback this morning.
2nd Nico Terol 1.59.436 (31 laps):
“I started the session this afternoon on the soft tyre just to get a feel until we started setting 2’00s and then when we put the harder compound in I ran into traffic and was only able to push for the last two laps. The first one was good and the second not so much but we still got plenty of data that will be very useful. As always the main objective is to prepare for the race and be ready to win on Sunday. We have to keep a close eye on our rivals because there are still 100 points up for grabs. The new track surface is very similar to the old one – they have got rid of some of the bumps but the grip level is virtually the same. It seems everyone is struggling with it though because the lap times are pretty slow.”
6th Adrián Martín 2.00.404 (30 laps):
“The result at Aragon was a weight off our shoulders and it has allowed me to have fun on the bike from the first session. It is working really well so I am comfortable on it and Motegi is a circuit that suits my style. We have finished the day sixth fastest but I found it pretty easy to follow the top guys and a similar result tomorrow will give me the opportunity to run with the second group and fight for a top five finish. The track is quite grippy and with the bumps removed it feels in good shape.”
7th Héctor Faubel 2.00431 (25 laps):
“My back is still bothering me from the crash at Aragon. I have two compressed vertebrae and when I am breathing hard or braking it’s a problem. I guess it will be a tough weekend but I am sure it can be a good one. I have finished seventh because we had a mechanical problem this morning and then had to test a lot of things in the afternoon. We will fix it tomorrow and I am sure we will be up near the top. I am having treatment after every session and I hope to be better tomorrow, it’s just a question of time.”
Source: Aspar Media