Aragon Moto2: Antonio Banderas Report
The technical problems which plagued Kenny Noyes from the start of the weekend helped put an early end to proceedings for the Jack&Jones By Antonio Banderas Racing rider at the Aragon Moto2 round, after the softer option rear tire turned out to be the wrong choice for the race.
Noyes had not been able to take advantage of the extra session of free practice scheduled at the Motorland Aragon circuit, as a crash and then persistent technical problems saw Noyes lose just about all the free practice available to him.
Once the technical gremlins had been tracked down – traced to a faulty wire – the American finally got to work on setting up his Promoharris machine during qualifying.
Kenny had already tested a revised suspension setup put together by the Jack&Jones By Antonio Banderas Racing team’s new suspension engineer, Federico de Marco, which had helped make Kenny feel much more comfortable on the bike. Further refinements found during warm up took a quarter of a second off Kenny’s qualifying time, despite the much colder conditions.
The one thing that the team hadn’t had time to test were tires, and Kenny and his team gambled on the soft tires. The gamble looked to have paid off at first, as the American pulled off his usual trick of slicing through the field, taking nearly a second off his qualifying time on his way up to 20th place. But the soft tires deteriorated much more quickly than expected, forcing Kenny to pull in on lap 12.
Despite the technical problems, Noyes remains upbeat about the weekend. The improved setup saw the American fighting with regular front-runners Alex Debon and Ratthapark Wilairot, and gives Kenny and the team confidence going into the three flyaway rounds coming up in October.
Kenny Noyes says: “We were definitely a lot closer here than we have been since Barcelona. With the suspension settings Federico found, I’m definitely a lot more comfortable on the bike.”
“We made a big suspension setting change from Saturday to Sunday, which worked real well. We had a lot of movement in the rear in the fast corners, and the change fixed that during warmup. We were faster in the morning than on Saturday, and nearly a second faster during the race.”
“I was caught behind Debon and West, and I could see Wilairot checking out ahead. I thought ‘I got to get with him, and we can start catching the rest’. But Debon was real tough to get past, and then my tires went off.”
“It’s a shame we didn’t get to test the hard tire, because the soft went off like it was a qualifying tire. After a couple of laps, I had to pull in, it was just too dangerous to keep going.”