Rabat tops the timesheet on opening day at Silverstone
Silverstone, Great Britain – 29th August 2014: Tito Rabat topped the timesheet on an opening day at Silverstone, where the notorious British weather once again played a big part. Mika Kallio ended the day sixth fastest, after a brief rain shower left him with limited time to evaluate set up changes.
Track conditions at Silverstone were less than ideal for this morning’s first free practice session, with low temperatures combined with a dirty track surface reducing grip levels and leaving riders struggling to get heat into the tyres.
The track conditions improved ahead of this afternoon’s second Moto2 free practice session, but a brief rain shower early in the session left riders with little dry time to work on set up.
Despite the problems Rabat and Kallio declared themselves relatively pleased with the progress made today, although both are hoping for better weather and track conditions tomorrow for both the final free practice and qualifying.
On his first visit to the Silverstone circuit, Jorge Navarro improved significantly in the second practice session, to finish today less than a second off provisional pole and 16th on the Moto3 timesheet. After a difficult session this morning, the 18-year-old Spaniard had a much better feeling with the bike and track this afternoon and is confident of further improvement tomorrow.
Tito Rabat // 1st // 2’08.652
“Today was a very strange day, as the track conditions weren’t ideal in either of the two free practice sessions. Still, I have a good feeling with the bike and we managed to test quite a lot despite the conditions – tyres, suspension and gearing – so we have some good data to work with ready for the final free practice and qualifying. We will see tomorrow, but we expect to improve and I hope the same is true of the weather!”
Mika Kallio // 6th // 2’09.027
“The track was cold and there was little grip available this morning, so it was complicated to find a good rhythm and there was little feedback from the tyres, both front and rear. It was like the tyres weren’t getting enough heat into them to work properly. We came up with a plan to address this in the afternoon, but then had to modify that plan when we had the brief rain shower during the session. We’re around 1.5 seconds of our times from last year, but the track conditions will continue to improve over the course of the weekend and the times will come down. However, we need to think ahead with the set up, to try and predict how much of an improvement we’re going to see, as we don’t have time to chase the track conditions in the two sessions we have left tomorrow.”
Jorge Navarro // 16th // 2’16.409
“This morning was quite difficult. The track was new to me and the conditions weren’t ideal, but we also tested some updated components on the bike that didn’t give the improvement we were expecting. For this afternoon’s session we went back closer to our Brno set up on the rear of the bike, but tested a new set of forks in the front. The feeling was much better and now we know in which direction we need to go to continue improving tomorrow.”