Repsol riders show strong early pace at Catalunya

 In Moto3, News

The opening day of practice for the Catalan GP saw the Repsol riders up amongst the frontrunners in the Moto3 class, with Maverick Viñales and Miguel Oliveira second and fourth, respectively. The day was a more difficult one for Álex Rins and Álex Márquez, as they dropped down to ninth and eleventh, respectively, in the first session before completing the day in seventeenth and eighteenth.

In the morning run, the Repsol Moto3 group showed that they were up for their home GP. 2011 125cc Rookie of the Year, Maverick Viñales, was fastest with a time of 1’53.168, dropping his times progressively with every lap. 0.466 behind was Miguel Oliveira, whilst teammates Álex Rins and Álex Márquez were slightly lower down the order.

With temperatures reaching close to 30ºC and the track hitting over 50ºC, the second session of the day was a demanding test for the Repsol riders. Viñales was once again one of the men to beat, only surpassed by Frenchman Louis Rossi, 0.150 quicker. Miguel Oliveira was fourth, less than a second back on the top time. Rins was unable to improve on his morning time, seventeenth and just 0.010 faster than Álex Márquez.

Tomorrow sees the second and final day of practices for the Catalan GP.

Miguel Oliveira
FP1 1:53.634, 16 laps, 76 km.
FP2 1:53.584, 17 laps, 80 km.
“My first impressions here are good, although we are a little far off the top three target. We will analyse different details of the bike in order to see where we can make up the tenths that separate me from the lead trio, and also look at how we can make the bike faster. I am pretty happy in any case and we have a lot of work ahead of us tomorrow. We have no pressure on us, so we are going to focus on improving the rear where I don’t have much confidence. Qualifying is important, but above all we have to find a good race pace and get a decent start”.

Álex Rins
FP1 1:54.518, 16 laps, 76 km.
FP2 1:54.735, 17 laps, 80 km.
“That was a tough day. It wasn’t too positive for us and it was hard to find our way, but we certainly have more to do before tomorrow’s sessions. I never felt comfortable and that was nothing to do with any technical issue —the fault was all mine. The aim for tomorrow is very clear: Improve upon our performance from today. In the middle of the session we tried a tyre that I didn’t like so much, which made it difficult to go back to the pace of the morning session”.

Álex Márquez
FP1 1:54.852, 16 laps, 76 km.
FP2 1:54.745, 17 laps, 80 km.
“I was happiest in the morning, but we have improved the bike little-by-little. The tyres are going to be a key factor here at the Circuit de Catalunya, and we should also take into account how my shoulder will react in these conditions. I hope that we can be at 100% tomorrow. We have to keep on improving every day and improve our times from the previous sessions. Our aim is simply to gain experience in the World Championship and put kilometers on the clock”.

Maverick Viñales
FP1 1:53.168, 14 laps, 66 km.
FP2 1:52.774, 17 laps, 80 km.
“I am very happy, because we found a good setting that allowed us to ride very comfortably. The Circuit de Catalunya is rather different to the other tracks that we have visited so far, because it has some long corners in comparison to some tight ones at previous tracks. You can see the difference when compared to the 125cc bikes, because we aren’t hitting the same speeds on the straights. The temperatures increased significantly between sessions and the track got a lot more slippery, but the race will be at 1pm so that won’t be the case on Sunday”.

Source: Repsol Media

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