After struggling to find grip over the two days of practice, Kenny Noyes and the Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas team found some improvement in the Sunday morning warm-up and decided to take a chance with some more changes for the race.
Unfortunately the last-minute changes didn’t improve things and, in fact, after only three laps Kenny was encountering wheel spin on corner exits making it impossible to return to the steady pace of 1´57s that he had run in the warm-up.
From then on it was just a matter of hanging on and fighting slides. He started 33rd and eventually came home 26th.
Now the team is looking forward to a fresh start at Silverstone, a new track for almost all Moto2 riders and a classic venue that returns to the G.P. Schedule for the first time since 1986.
Kenny Noyes (26º fast lap: 1’57.898) says: “It was a tough and complicated weekend. We started out about like in Le Mans, looking for a set-up on a completely new track. We were improving session by session but after the warm-up this morning we decided to take a chance on some big changes and we missed the set-up.”
“If we had had a better grid position and pace we would have been a lot more conservative, but we were so far back that it seemed better to take a chance. On lap three I had no grip out of the corners and from then on my only objective was to finish without crashing.”
“We were at a big disadvantage at Mugello because it is a very technical track and we had really no references. Now we go on to Silverstone which will be a new track for everyone. We’ll start from zero, but so will everyone else.”
Pre-race: Noyes Ready to Fight for Points in Mugello
The Moto2 class is clearly the most hotly contested in the GP program and proof of that is seen in the difference in grid positions for Jack&Jones by Antonio Banderas rider Kenny Noyes.
In Le Mans, a track where he had never raced, he worked his way from 28th on day 1 all the way to the pole on Sunday, In Mugello, another new track for the American rookie, he was 35th on day 1 but, in spite of going 1.1 second faster on day 2. he was only able to move up to 33nd on the 41-rider grid.
In general Kenny improved every time out, starting at 1’59. 924 on Friday and then posting a 1´57.568 in the Saturday morning free practice. But he was able to improve only to 1´57.467 in qualifying.
The circuit is proving more difficult to learn than Le Mans because of its sequences of blind, high-speed corners and because of unsettling bumps, but the team has worked to improve stability and to find a bit more top speed.
Kenny will try a couple of modifications in the warm-up on Sunday in hopes of improving his chances to make a charge up through the field. In Qatar he started 30th but was up to tenth by half distance before suffering tire problems.
Kenny Noyes (33º 1’57.467) says: “We improved every time out but we didn’t make the big step we needed in qualifying like we were able to do in Le Mans. These blind corners and bumps remind me of how hard it was to learn some of the AMA circuits when I made a couple of rides there in 2008.”
“We are really not so far off pace as the grid position makes it seem. If I had gotten a good tow at the end of qualifying I think we’d have been fifteen or twenty places closer to the front. Eighth/tenths of a second better and I would have picked up 18 places!”
“It is more of a handicap not to have raced here than at other tracks like Qatar and Le Mans, but nobody said this was going to be easy! My goal tomorrow is to get into the points and learn this place so that when we come back next year we’ll be on the pace from the first day.”