Following are various team reports from the Moto2 test session at Estoril.
The rain and the wind never stopped during all the IRTA MOTO2 tests of Estoril (only 1h30 the last day) making the team’s job more difficult. With a full team ready to work, our two pilots made a lot of laps to set up their Suter and getting their bearings back.
Dominique Aegerter got his confidence back and showed a nice progression during the three days.
Kenan Sofuoglu who was away from the previous got his bearing with good lap time and is definitely back on track.
The atmosphere at the Technomag-CIP’s Box was cheerful and, despite the bad weather; everyone had a smile on his face.
Alain Bronec (Team Owner) says: "We worked well during theses tests with all the team and tonight, I am glad to have the family’ spirit of last year back. Kenan is now well integrated and it’s very motivating to work with him."
Next tests will take place in Jerez (Spain) on the 4, 5 and 6 of March. All the bikes will have their official engine (the one attributed by Dorna) and there will be also the official timing that will give a pecking order of the category. The team is very enthusiastic about it and cannot wait for this meeting.
Stop and Go Racing Team
The third test day hosted at the Portuguese circuit of Estoril was very successful for the Stop And Go Racing Team and its rider Santi Hernández.
Despite the weather conditions that only allowed a day and a half of testing from the three that were scheduled, the young Colombian rider can be satisfied with the results he achieved. The job focused principally in the set up of the FTR Moto2 machine, the SAG technical team where hoping to do as many laps as possible the check the reliability of the new machine, but the weather meant that this was not possible.
Even so Santi Hernández did 56 laps at the Portuguese circuit and achieved his best time of 1’44.863, an excellent lap time for the Colombian, he left the circuit with a smile on his face thanks to the well job done by the SAG team and the result reached.
Santi Hernandez (STOP AND GO RACING TEAM) says: "The last day of the tests in Estoril has been very positive because we found a good set up for the FTR Moto2 machine allowing me to go fast.
"This morning we had some problem in the front of the bike, that we fixed but after appeared some problem in the back of the FTR that fortunately we solved too, after this I had good feeling from the front and rear of the machine and that helped me to a better lap time. We would have liked to ride without interruptions, but the rain didn’t help us in that respect but we leave Estoril with a great result. We go back home now with the knowledge from this test and a plan to develop further at the next test at Jerez where for sure we will keep this high level and fight for good positions at the classification of the world championship."
Marc VDS Racing Team
The Marc VDS Racing Team’s second test of the season was a complete washout, as rain adversely affected all three days at the Estoril circuit in Portugal.
Scott Redding and Mika Kallio arrived at the Estoril circuit keen to carry on the work started during the first test of the season at Valencia last week. Unfortunately for the two Marc VDS Racing Team riders, frequent rain showers during the first two days in Portugal left the Estoril track permanently damp and suitable only for testing wet settings on the Suter MMXI Moto2 machines they’ll campaign this season.
The final day of testing at Estoril started dry, but by mid morning the rain showers reappeared and both Redding and Kallio had to contend with a track that dried quickly in some places but remained wet in others.
The difficult conditions at Estoril meant that the two Marc VDS riders were unable to complete the planned test program; a critical part of the team’s preparations for the 2011 season. To compensate, the Marc VDS Racing Team will now travel back to Spain for an additional two-day test at the Jerez circuit on 23rd and 24th February.
Scott Redding says: "What a disappointment. After a successful test at Valencia I was looking forward to coming here to Estoril and continuing the work on the bike, but the weather put paid to that. The first day was difficult, but the second day I didn’t even bother going out the track was that bad.
"On the third day we had a bit of a break in the weather, but the track didn’t really dry out properly between rain showers and it was only in the final hour we got anywhere close to dry conditions. Even then the track was really slippery after all the rain. Hopefully we’ll get some better weather in Jerez next week and we’ll be able to pick up where we left off in Valencia."
Mika Kallio says: "At this point I need as much time on the bike as I can get, but the wind and rain meant I only did six laps on the first day and none on the second. Today was a bit better, but even when it stopped raining there were still damp patches on the track.
"In between the rain showers I squeezed in 20 laps and was able to evaluate two different suspension settings on the front of the bike. This has given us a good indication of which direction we need to go in, so it wasn’t a completely wasted test. The bike felt good and the gap to the fastest riders is coming down, but I still need more dry track time before the start of the season. Hopefully we’ll have better weather in Jerez next week."
Michael Bartholemy says: "Like all the other teams here in Estoril, we’ve managed to achieve very little because of the extreme weather. The only dry track time we got was in the last hour today, but even then the grip was unpredictable because of all the rain we’ve had this week. Both riders, but particularly Mika, need more time on the bike in dry conditions, which is why we’ve decided to schedule an additional test at Jerez next week. Hopefully the weather will be better, which would allow us to catch up on the test program that was so disrupted in Estoril."
Tech 3 Racing Team
Adverse weather conditions dominated this week’s three-day Moto2 test at the Estoril track in Portugal to prevent Mike di Meglio and Bradley Smith completing any significant development work for the Tech 3 Racing Team.
Looking to put in valuable development laps on the revised Mistral 610 machine after a positive opening test in Valencia, heavy rain and gusting winds battered the Estoril track for almost the entire test. Even when the rain eased, the track was slow to dry and any productive testing was made difficult by a persistent fierce wind blowing in from the nearby Atlantic coast.
Former World 125cc Champion di Meglio finished with a best time of 1.42.8, the Frenchman escaping u nhurt from a late crash on the final afternoon while trying to push on the rare occasion the track was completely dry.
British rider Smith, who continued his impressive switch to the ultra-competitive Moto2 class, completed nearly 100-laps. The 20-year-old was uninjured in a crash on the second afternoon and finished with a best lap of 1.44.2 on the unofficial timesheets.
The Tech 3 Racing Team will now be hoping for more favourable conditions when the pre-season testing campaign concludes at the Jerez circuit in early March. Smith and di Meglio will be hoping to explore more of the new Mistral 610 machine’s potential prior to jetting off to the Middle East for the eagerly anticipated opening race in Qatar on March 20.
Mike di Meglio says: "The weather made it very difficult here in Esto ril. There was so much rain and the track never really dried sufficiently for me to push at my normal level. The track only completely dried up for the last hour of the last day but in that short time I improved my feeling with the bike.
"I tried some new parts and the direction we found is definitely a step forward. We are closer to the fastest group now and that gives me some good confidence. I am sorry that I crashed in the last minutes of the test today as I pushed too much and was trying to get more out of the bike when the conditions were not ideal. I want to thank the Tech 3 Racing Team because when we got out on track we did a good job and I am sure we can improve at the next test in Jerez."
Bradley Smith says: "Although the weather didn’t provide us with the best conditions, we are going in the right direction with the bike and I am learning a lot. The bike feels more like my friend now and that is very positive for me. Each time I go out on track I am learning so much that I am sure I can still make a big step forward.
"In Valencia I was two seconds away, now I am 1.5s away. I am sure we can improve by another second by the time we get to Qatar for the first race, so I’m moving in the right direction. I was lucky in the crash on the second day. The power caught me out in the rain, but luckily both the bike and me didn’t get damaged too much.
"We’ve got a two-week break now before the next test in Jerez and that is good to make some changes to the bike based on what we discovered in Valencia and Estoril. I’m loving working with the Tech 3 Racing Team and can’t wait for the start of the season."