The first day of practice for the Catalunya Grand Prix has been positive for Reale Avintia Racing team riders, with Héctor Barberá in 11th and Loris Baz in 15th place. Both riders had a good feeling with the bike, they are confident about their chances to further improve tomorrow and the fact that both riders crashed in FP2 was only a small setback.
In the first session, Barberá and Baz remained in the garage, as the track was still wet and they preferred to save some tyres for tomorrow. The test that took place a few weeks ago was a great help and the riders started with a good base set-up, which resulted in a strong pace from the beginning. The crashes of Hector and Loris took place in the two revised points of the Circuit of Barcelona-Catalunya, with the Spanard falling in turn 10 and the French in the new chicane. Fortunately both incidents ended without major consequences and, although Barbera was diagnosed with a strong contusion to the tendon of the little finger of his left hand, he will come back stronger tomorrow, with the aim of making it to Q2.
“We started the first day with ups and downs. This morning we didn’t go out because the track was not completely dry and in the afternoon I crashed and my left hand was trapped under the bike. One of my fingers got hurt and in the first moment I was scared because I could not move it and I had a lot of pain. Even though, I went back to the garage, grabbed my second bike and finished the session. Although I didn’t feel great, I was able to do three decent laps, so in the end, we finished the day on a high note. The most important thing is that I’m ok. The guys in the Clinica Mobile ruled out any fractures in my swollen finger, but it will be difficult to put on my glove tomorrow. The bike works very well on this track, we had a test a few weeks ago and we have the right set-up. I only need to choose the tyres well for Sunday and work to improve our race pace.”
“In the morning, the track was not completely dry and we decided not to go out in order to keep some tyres. In the afternoon, we went quite well. We went out with one bike that had the set-up base of Mugello and the other one with the set-up from the test, and I liked the one from Mugello more. We have to work more, but it still has been a positive start to this Grand Prix. We need a little more power and tomorrow we will use a new engine that can solve many problems. The lap times are very close together, but I trust in our capability of improving our lap times. In the new chicane I always cut across the kerbs, but when I crashed this afternoon I also entered with a lot of lean angle. It was a slow fall, but crashing at this point can still be really dangerous, especially in the group, because when you crash, you remain in the middle of the track.”