MotoGP GP of Thailand – Chang International Circuit
The riders of Team Reale Avintia Racing had a difficult start of the weekend at Buriram, with Xavier Simeon and Jordi Torres settling for 23rd and 24th place in the first free practice sessions of the Thai Grand Prix.
For Xavier Simeon, who rides the Ducati GP17 of his injured teammate Tito Rabat for the third consecutive time, these first two sessions were not easy. Even though his feeling with the bike improved in FP2, his progress was stopped when he suffered a crash. He only could improve by three tenths of a second when he tried to push for a hot lap with new tyres. Nevertheless, the Belgian rider remains positive and hopes to climb up in the time sheets on Saturday.
Jordi Torres accumulated solid track knowledge in four seasons of World Superbike racing at the Chang International Circuit, but with the MotoGP bike, many things were completely different and new again. The Spanish rider finished the day right behind his teammate, but was happy with what he learned on the first day. Bit by bit, he feels better with the bike and the tyres, so he shares Simeon’s confidence of doing better on Saturday.
FP3 will start at 4.55 h, followed by FP4 at 8.30 h and the qualifying sessions at 9.10 h Spanish time.
“I struggled a bit in the morning, but in the afternoon, I felt very good on the bike and I was hopeful to improve considerably. Unfortunately, I had a crash at the end of the session due to some oil on the track and I was forced to finish with my second bike. I couldn’t get the best out of it and improve my lap time the way I expected and therefore I’m a bit disappointed. Once again, I couldn’t improve enough in comparison to the others with a new tyre. I am really working hard on improving this aspect, but so far we haven’t found the solution. Apart from this, it was a positive day, as I had good feelings with the bike.”
“Even though it doesn’t show in the time sheets, I am happy with our progress. We had a super-productive day and I managed to get a lot more accustomed to the bike and the tyres. This morning, I allowed myself to ride the way I felt most comfortable, whereas in the afternoon, I tried to change my riding style in a way that suits the bike and the tyres. I changed my position on the bike a lot and as a consequence, I improved on the corner exits. But more than anything, I started to understand the behaviour of the front tyre and I began to feel when it starts to move. I treated this with lots of respect at the beginning, but in the end I started to like it. Tonight, I will think a lot about all the new information that I collected and tomorrow, I hope to get a bit closer to the others.”