MotoGP GP of Malaysia – Sepang
Reale Avintia Racing riders Xavier Simeon and Jordi Torres finished the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 21st and 22nd position.
The heat, the humidity and repeated thunderstorms were main players on this Friday, but the MotoGP riders were lucky enough for both free practice sessions to take place on a dry tarmac.
Xavier Simeon had a lot of problems to find traction on the corner exits. He and his team worked hard to improve the grip levels of his rear Michelin tyre. At the end of the day, he made a step forward and finished just ahead of his teammate in the classification.
For Jordi Torres, the first day on the Malaysian track was very positive, as he gained a lot of confidence in the front end of his Ducati. He finished just behind Simeon, with a gap of only 40 thousandths of a second separating the Reale Avintia duo. It looks as if, quite like at the race in Japan, the teammates will race each other again on Sunday.
On Saturday, both expect to make another step and to qualify more towards the front of the starting grid.
“It was quite a difficult day because I didn’t have enough rear grip. We worked all day long to find a solution and to solve this particular problem. In the end, we made a small step in the right direction, but we have to improve further in order to make the best possible use of our bike’s potential. We need to find a set-up that makes us faster, but more than anything more consistent.”
“Things went well today, much better than I expected on such a long and wide circuit as Sepang. It is difficult to find the most efficient line here, but in the end we clocked a decent lap time. Maybe it could have even better if I had managed to string a faultless lap together, but I am happy regardless because we worked well and we passed the exam of the first day. I gained a lot of confidence and I made a big step forward on the corner entries. Tomorrow we will work on improving the corner exits.”