MotoGP GP of Thailand– Chang International Circuit
Reale Avintia Racing team riders Xavier Simeon and Jordi Torres improved their lap times on the second day of practice for the Thai Grand Prix and qualified in 20th and 21st position for the race on Sunday.
Once again, the extreme heat was tough on everybody on the Chang International Circuit, challenging riders and their bikes to the extreme.
Nevertheless, Xavier Simeon kept pushing and managed to improve his Friday lap times in FP3 on Saturday morning. After this succesful step, he delivered in qualifying and secured 20th position for a start from seventh row of the grid.
His teammate Jordi Torres, will start right behind the Belgian rider. He also took a massive step in his adaptation to the Ducati MotoGP bike and the Michelin tyres and was just fractions of a second slower than Simeon in only his second Grand Prix with Reale Avintia Racing.
The MotoGP race on Sunday will start at 14:00h local time (9:00h Spanish time).
“It has been a very, very positive day. We made a big change to the bike that allowed me to take a good step forward for the first time ever. I did not expect that and it felt great to be able to improve our lap times by so much. We are now on the heels of the riders in front of me, which makes me very happy. If we compare to the test, I improved my best time by four tenths of a second, and this in completely different conditions, with the track being nowhere near as fast as it was back in February. I am also very happy with the work of the team because today the guys gave me a very competitive bike and I had fun riding, even though it is obvious that it is still not enough and we must do more. For the race, we have tried to get a good pace with the rear hard tyre and it has gone quite well. But races are always another story, so we’ll see.”
“We changed my riding position yesterday so I would be less tense on the bike, position, and this change really paid off today. A very big step in our overall performance became obvious as soon as I went out in FP3. Then in FP4, we concentrated on working for the race, trying to maintain the pace lap after lap, which is still difficult for me. In Q1 I tried to go for an all-out attack, but I still lack the knowledge and experience to find that extra speed, because it’s not about braking harder or accelerating earlier. Instead, it is all about preparing the corner entry better and getting the maximum lean angle as fast as possible… It is a puzzle of many things and there are still pieces missing before I can ride the bike in a way that is natural for me. In the race tomorrow, I hope I can put up a fight with some other riders, in order to learn everything I possibly can. My intention is to show the others my front wheel as often as possible”.