Another step forward for MotoGP rookies Morbidelli and Lüthi in Buriram
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi, depart Thailand satisfied with the progress made during three-days of testing at the Chang International Circuit, the latest addition to the MotoGP calendar.
For Morbidelli the focus of the test was on refining both set up and riding style to get the best from Honda's RC213V MotoGP machine. The reigning Moto2 World Champion saw steady improvement over the course of the three days but also identified areas on which to focus during the next test in Qatar.
With just three days prior testing in Sepang, due to missing the post-season tests through injury, the focus for Lüthi in Thailand was on increasing his understanding and confidence in both the Honda RC213V and the Michelin tyres. The Swiss rider made solid progress over the course of the three days in Buriram, improving his lap time by over a second as a result.
Both Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders leave Thailand with a clear direction for the third and final preseason test in Qatar, which gets underway on 1st March.
Franco Morbidelli: 1'30.648
“I'm really happy with this test, which we finished well today. We've worked hard trying to understand better how to get the best from the bike and tyres and finally we found a good direction, we improved and I managed to post a decent lap time to end the test. We went forward, which is the most important thing, because this is my main objective; to always move forward. I have to say thank you to my crew, because they have helped me a lot and we are working well together. Now we need to continue in the same way in Qatar, increasing even more our understanding of the bike, the tyres and the set up.”
Tom Lüthi: 1'31.354
“We saw progression on each of the three days here in Thailand and I think that's the most important thing. It was quite tough at the start today because our progress seemed to stall; we were looking for better lap times but they didn't come. We decided to make a step back with the bike, trying to get a feel for some changes to the set up and this was quite interesting. Towards the end of the day I started to get a better feeling with the front and this helped me a lot, allowing me to go a little bit faster and close the gap a little more to the guys at the front. Now we need to continue in the same way in Qatar if we're to be ready for the first race of the season.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“These three days in Buriram were quire positive for the team, with both riders improving as their understanding of how to get the best out of the bike and tyres increased with more track time. Just as importantly we also identified areas for further improvement that we need to work on during the next test in Qatar. Both Franco and Tom should be satisfied with the steps they've made here in Thailand. It's very easy for a rider to become frustrated when they feel they are not progressing fast enough, but we know from experience that mastering a MotoGP bike takes some time and that a methodical and patient approach pays dividends in the end. We didn't know what to expect when we came here to the Buriram, but it's been a positive experience and the passion of the local fans is incredible. I'm looking forward to coming back for the race in October.”