Action started today at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit and Reale Avintia Racing riders Hector Barbera and Loris Baz started to work on the set-up of their Ducati ahead of the 30-lap-race on Sunday. For Barbera, the last GP of the season is his home race and after testing three different settings on his bike, he managed to improve considerably from the morning to the afternoon. The Spaniard finished 18th in the combined free practice times, but was close to the top ten. He hopes to make another step forward tomorrow and to improve his position on the grid.
For Loris Baz, the first day has been more difficult. The Ricardo Tormo circuit has never been an easy track for Ducati and Baz is struggling to put in a fast lap. Nevertheless, he focused on the set-up for the race and worked on the race pace to be competitive on Sunday.
The first two free practice sessions were held in bright sunshine and for tomorrow, the forecast is just as good as today.
“It’s been a weird day that hasn’t gone as we expected. But we are close, because with an improvement of just two tenths we would have been in the top 10. We have to improve a lot for the race and even more on a special weekend like this one. We continue trying different ideas and from this morning to this afternoon we have had three different bikes. We found something that allows us to improve by half a second, so I hope we can go well in qualifying tomorrow. This weekend is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. On one hand I’m sad because the MotoGP era is over for me, but on the other hand, this year has been the most difficult season of my career”.
“This circuit has always been tricky for this bike and we knew this before coming here. This morning didn’t go well at all. We tried something but it was not an improvement. In the afternoon though, it seems that have found the right direction. We are not so bad, because we are just 1.4s behind Lorenzo, who was the fastest rider today. Hector and Alvaro are right in front of me…but the track layout is not good for this bike. Tomorrow we’ll try to find the best possible pace for Sunday. Let’s see if we can do better in the race thanks to a good pace, because a single fast lap is impossible at the moment.”