Moto2 Qatar: Kenny Noyes’ Tire Troubles
American Kenny Noyes looked set to pick up a batch of points in his Moto2 Grand Prix debut until his rear tire went off. He started 30th after difficulties in qualifying but was up to 20th by the end of lap one and pulled through to 10th by lap ten, a place he held until he began to lose grip.
After running the first half of the race in mid 2’03s and low 2´04s, while holding off the likes of Fonsi Nieto, Sergio Gadea and Aegerter, Kenny began to slip back, his lap times rising into the high 2’04s and 2´05s as the rear tire lost traction.
Eventually he finished 18th but the Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas team left Qatar convinced that a top ten finish was more than possible at a track where Kenny had no race experience.
Kenny made steady progress all weekend. Improving in every session, his progression in lap times was steady: 2’05.2 in Free Practice 2’04.3 in Free Practice 2, 2`03.7 in Qualifying, 2’03.6 (9th) in the Warm-Up and finally 2.03.4 and 14th fastest of the 41 starters in the race.
Kenny said after the race that he had made a mistake in choosing the harder compound rear because he had not been able to make a long enough run with it during practice.
The team will have a weekend off in Spain before back-to-back races in Motegi, Japan, and Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Motegi will be another new track for the American, but after working through the weekend in Qatar, the team now better understand how to set the bike up quickly.
Kenny Noyes says: "This track was so wide and fast, so different from all the tracks in Spain, that we had to make some big changes and some guesses. We got close on set-up and I know I would have been in the top ten if the rear tire had not faded on us. We need to improve our qualifying strategy and make sure that we give the tires longer runs in practice. The team worked hard and we are leaving here feeling that we accomplished a lot, learned a lot and that we’ll be stronger because of it in Japan."