Positive opening day in Buriram for Morbidelli and Lüthi
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS riders, Franco Morbidelli and Tom Lüthi, were both positive about the Chang International Circuit, after turning their first laps on the latest addition to the MotoGP calendar during the first of three days of testing in Thailand.
After his first run this morning Lüthi commented that the track was far more technical than it looked and much more bumpy than expected. Morbidelli echoed these sentiments, declaring the track a lot of fun on a MotoGP bike but still quite tricky to ride fast despite not having so many corners.
While Morbidelli and Lüthi learnt their way around the seven right and five left hand corners that make up the 4.554km Chang International Circuit, their respective crews worked to set up the Honda RC213V machines to suit a track that has been likened by many riders to Spielberg in Austria, albeit a lot flatter.
Lüthi's crew focussed on refining electronics and engine management to better suit the demands of the Thai track, whereas Morbidelli's crew opted to modify their rider's position, balance and base set up in the search for improvements.
Franco Morbidelli: 1'31.729
“Our first day here in Buriram went well. We are still trying to adapt, making changes on the bike to suit better this circuit and, already, we are seeing some improvements. I am just 0.9s off the top, which isn't too much and it's the closest we've been to the frontrunners so far, which is also good. Now we have to keep improving and working to better understand that bike. I like the track here in Thailand; not so many corners but quite tricky to master. The only downside today was a low speed crash at turn seven when I was heading out for the practice starts. I'm not sure exactly what caused the crash, but we will check the data tonight to see if that reveals anything.”
Tom Lüthi: 1'32.716
“Not too bad overall today, but I still have so much to learn. When I jumped on the bike this morning it was still all new to me, despite this being my second test. The track is new, the bike still feels new, so I really needed to do as many laps as possible today. Lap by lap the feeling was coming better but I still have to remind myself to be patient as I learn the bike, as this is something you can't do overnight but have to do step by step. Sometimes it's difficult to be so patient, but this is definitely the right way to work with the MotoGP bike.”