moto3 / Joan Mir heads to the top of Friday practice at Brno
The World Championship leader started the Grand Prix České republiky as he means to end it on top. Team-mate Livio Loi (14th) also started the weekend well.
After more than a month away for the summer break, the World MotoGP World Championship Circus reopened. The Leopard Racing Team resumed with the same spirit from where they left off in July, the motivation still high after Mir’s victory in Germany. Kotur & Lundberg lead the team (who today wore full black in mourning and honoring the memory of the late Angel Nieto) as always. The weekend began as wheels eagerly touched down on the 5.4 Km of the Brno circuit, host to the tenth round of the 2017 season.
After the high temperatures of recent days, Friday’s free practice was characterized by rain, falling from the early morning with especially high humidity (95%). The protagonists of the Moto3 class started as if they were riding on egg shells, progressively improving their times. The two Leopard Racing teammates were confident with the track, ending in 13th and 16th positions respectively for Joan Mir and Livio Loi, who recorded the highest peak speed of the day (212 km/h).
In the afternoon the rain finally eased, allowing the young Moto3 riders to make up for time in the morning. Joan Mir made huge strides in the session and in the last few minutes, the talent of Palma de Mallorca started to really push and went under the 2’21” barrier to top the time sheets. Not least was Belgian Livio Loi, who on the last of his 14 laps made an interesting 2’23.101 to secure 14th in the session and on the combined Friday times.
Tomorrow, Saturday August 5th, the protagonists of the Moto3 class will be engaged in the third and last round of free practice, anticipating the official qualifying show.
#36 Joan MIR – 1st (2’20.819)
“I’m pretty happy for this first day, we’ve been improving each lap. At first we encountered some difficulty adapting to the wet asphalt, but as the track was drying I felt more comfortable. In the second session a small setup change enabled me to push more. Let’s see tomorrow if it’s going to rain again or if we’re probably going to run in the dry. In any way and condition, we will have to give the maximum and remain at this level. Finally, I would like to turn to Angel Nieto: he is still present among us, my most sympathetic condolences to all his family.”
#11 Livio LOI – 14th (2’23.101)
“Rain is not really my favorite condition, but I think we did a good job today. The feeling is still not perfect at the moment, we have to improve a bit to feel more at ease. We will now look at the data to find an appropriate solution: in case it rains again, then we can be a step forward.”
Moto3™ Combined Free Practice Times:
1 – J. Mir / SPA / Leopard Racing / Honda / 2’20.819
2 – A. Canet / SPA / Estrella Galicia / Honda / 2’21.288
3 – A. Norrodin / MAL / SIC Racing Team / Honda / 2’21.331
4 – A. Migno / ITA / Sky Racing VR46 / KTM / 2’21.657
14 – L. Loi / BEL / Leopard Racing / Honda / 2’23.101
Moto3™ Schedule (Local Time, GMT +2):
Saturday, August 5th:
09:00-09:40 – FP3
12:35-13:15 – QP
Sunday, August 6th:
08:40-09:00 – WarmUp
11:00 (19 Laps) – Race
Photo credit: Leopard Racing