Lüthi and Morbidelli looking for improvement in Jerez
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders Tom Lüthi and Franco Morbidelli head for Spain this weekend and round four of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship at Jerez
The MotoGP rookies endured a difficult outing at the technical and physically demanding Circuit of the Americas, for which both are looking to make amends with a more successful weekend as the championship lands in Andalucía for the first European race of the season.
Of the two it is Lüthi who has enjoyed the most success in the intermediate class in Jerez previously, having finished on the podium three times. However, Morbidelli has the advantage of having testing the Honda RC213V at the circuit back in November, a test that Lüthi was forced to sit out due to an injury sustained in a Moto2 qualifying crash in Malaysia.
Jerez is a demanding circuit on a MotoGP machine. The relatively narrow track, which has been completely resurfaced since last year's Spanish Grand Prix, features a combination of fast and slow turns with only two short straights and is renowned for highlighting any shortcomings in bike set up.
Jerez promises to be another tough test for Lüthi and Morbidelli in their debut season in the premier class, but it's a challenge that both riders are looking forward to taking on this weekend.
“I'm looking forward to racing in Europe again at Jerez. It's unfortunate that I missed out on the November test at the circuit, but it's positive that my crew were working there and that my crew chief Gilles Bigot already has some experience with the Honda RC213V at Jerez. Hopefully this means we will start the weekend on a little bit of a higher level. When I look back at Austin we couldn't really find any improvements on Saturday or Sunday and this is something we need to change in Jerez, with the goal being to make a step each day and to secure some points on Sunday.”
“After the difficult race we had in Austin it will be important to regain some confidence this weekend in Jerez, which is a track we've tested at previously and for which we have more data and more experience compared to Argentina and Austin. We know that Jerez is a track where controlling the power and the tendency of the bike to wheelie out of the corners is important and that's what we need to focus on. We need to make another step forward with the bike, which will be the main goal this weekend.”
Michael Bartholemy: Team Principal
“After a reasonable start to the season in Qatar and Argentina we struggled to give both riders a set up they felt comfortable with in Austin. This we need to address this weekend in Jerez, a tight and twisty track that we know from the past punishes severely any weaknesses in set up. This is important for us, as it will give us a good indication of exactly where we are with the bike and a clearer idea of which direction we need to work in with the set up. This weekend will be another challenge, but I'm confident that both Tom and Franco will step up and take advantage of the opportunity to increase their understanding of the Honda RC213V.”