Joan Mir an impressive 2nd in opening Qatar practice session
The first two free practice sessions have officially heralded the beginning the Grand Prix of Qatar, the first stop of the 2016 season for the Moto3 World Championship.
After a month and a half of testing, split between four private sessions and two official IRTA tests, it is now full competitive action for the Moto3 team as the three Leopard Racing riders took to the track under the floodlights of Qatar.
At the Losail International Circuit, the challenge began for Leopard Racing in the cadet category with not only a new line up of riders but also the new KTM RC250 GP. Unfortunately the track was dirty after rain fell yesterday, hindering the riders for fast laps in the first Free Practice session, the team deciding to refine the setup of the machines to understand the new conditions rather than push for fast laps.
Joan Mir, debut rider in the World Championship was the best of the Leopard Racing team today. Having concentrated on learning a completely new track last week at the last IRTA test, the 18 year-old Palma de Mallorca rider pushed hard in the last moments, stopping the clock at 2’06 “160, a time that earned him second place at + 0.328s from Belgian Livio Loi.
Tomorrow, Friday, March 18, riders will be engaged in the third and final round of FP3 ahead of the official qualifying session on Saturday.
#36 Joan MIR – 2nd (2’06.160):
“We have had a good job! In the first session I was not comfortable, the bike was skating too much however in the second session I put the new tire in and I could keep a good pace along with Andrea and Fabio. Then I worked on what I needed to do to make the soft tyre work and the time has come! We must be calm though, these are only the first free practice sessions. Tomorrow will be the most important towards qualification and maybe there we can shave 1 “. It is important to fight in the top positions, I want to thank the team for all their hard work.”
Source: Leopard Racing