moto3 / Mir stands tall on Friday
The Palma de Mallorca rookie was on the virtual front row on the first day at Valencia. Good pace also from his team-mate Fabio Quartararo, while Locatelli has encountered some obstacles in the afternoon session after a bright start.
The weekend of the Grand Prix Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana 2016 starts on the right foot for the Leopard Racing team. Both free practice sessions at the Ricard Tormo de Cheste circuit saw the trio towards the front and playing a staring role
FP1 saw the three riders attack the 4 km of the Valencian track, which traditionally hosts the final race of the season. The trio monopolized the top sections of the standings with fourth, fifth and Quartararo sixth position, Mir and Locatelli.
In the afternoon the ‘triple force of Leopard Racing’ continued to hammer their advantage and thanks to the Spaniard Joan Mir, who landed on the provisional front row thanks to a 1’39″876. The rookie has found a solid setting with his bike and is confident for Qualifying.
Fabio Quartararo seemed at ease on this track, on which showed he has fond a fast and steady pace over longer runs, within touching distance on his teammate.
Andrea Locatelli highlighted his feeling with the KTM, especially in the morning, closing in sixth place overall. The 20 year old from Selvino took 0.3s off his own reference lap in FP2 in the afternoon, but was hampered by traffic.
Saturday will open with the third and final free practice session, anticipating the afternoon show of formal qualifications that will decide the starting grid for the Moto3 class Grand Prix Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana 2016.
#36 Joan MIR – 3rd (1’39″734):
“I am very happy today: we worked a lot on the bike, finding some good solutions that will come in handy tomorrow in qualifying and Sunday’s race. We have a very good rhythm; we must continue in this line of work and I want to thank my team for giving me a bike that allowed me to always be in front.”
#20 Fabio QUARTARARO – 7th (1’39″876):
“It was a pretty good day for us, we were able to do a long run with very good pace. I missed a little bit in the last sector to improve myself further. We must continue to be able to stay higher in the time sheets.”
#55 Andrea LOCATELLI – 24th (1’40″359):
“This afternoon, apart from the position, made it a pretty good day. The feeling with the bike is good and we are confident of being able to improve. Too bad for the last run. I was going strong but I have found some obstacles in my path that have slowed me down. I’m confident I can do well tomorrow in qualifying!”
Moto3™ Combined Free Practice Times:
1 – Enea Bastianini / ITA / Gresini Racing / Honda / 1’39.556
2 – Juanfran Guevara / SPA / RBA Racing / KTM / 1’39.655
3 – Joan Mir / SPA / Leopard Racing / KTM / 1’39.734
7 – Fabio Quartararo / FRA / Leopard Racing / KTM / 1’39.876
24 – Andrea Locatelli / ITA / Leopard Racing / KTM / 1’40.359
Moto3™ Schedule (Local Time, GMT +2):
Saturday, November 12th:
09:00 – 09:40 – FP3
12:35 – 13:15 – QP
Photo credit: Leopard Racing