MotoGP GP of Japan – Twin Ring Motegi
Reale Avintia Racing rider Xavier Simeon had his best ever Friday in MotoGP on Twin Ring Motegi, finishing in 16th place just 1.6s behind the fastest rider Andrea Dovizioso.
The opening day of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix was disrupted by intermittent rain showers before FP2, which cost the team valuable track time for their task of finding the best possible set-up for the bikes. But in the morning, Simeon was fast and consistent in dry conditions, reporting positive feelings with the bike.
In the afternoon session, the Belgian was one of the few riders who went out in tricky damp conditions. He finished eight after swapping to Michelin slick tyres in the final minutes, when the track started to dry.
His Reale Avintia teammate Jordi Torres decided to sit the session out in the garage without taking unnecessary risks. In the morning he’d done a step forward in his learning process and he was 22nd with a best lap of 1’47.665. Most importantly, he started with good feelings and, although he wasn’t able to try a fast lap in FP2, he is determined to improve in dry conditions tomorrow.
The action on Saturday will start at 9:55 am local time with FP3, followed by FP4 at 13:30 h and Qualifying at 14:10 h.
“This was my best first day in MotoGP and I’m very happy. Every time I ride the bike I feel better and it’s a relief to see myself higher up in the time sheets. In the afternoon, the circuit was never completely dry. But in the end, we did the last run on slicks. The feeling was positive and I got more experience in these tricky conditions. This is a stop-and-go circuit and our bike performs really well. I hope to continue in this line tomorrow”.
“This was a positive Friday. It made a noticeable difference that I hadn’t been racing on another bike last weekend, as I was able to recall the feeling I had during the Thailand GP and build on that, riding in a more natural way. I learned lots again, especially in the morning, even though I first had to find the reference points around the track.”