moto2 / Positive first day for Oliveira and Kent in Spielberg
The two Leopard Racing companions shone bright in Friday practice approaching the top of the Moto2 class.
A convincing start for the Leopard Racing team this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. The Austrian track is the theatre of the tenth round of the World Championship 2016. Both Kent and Oliveira were strong from the first free practice session this morning, where they had their strongest Friday since the start of the year.
Miguel Oliveira in particular seems to have a special feeling with this track: the Portuguese rider closed FP1 in fourth, just a step away from the virtual “first row”, less than half a second behind the provisional leader. In the afternoon the talent of Pragal was dedicated to the refinement of his setting, improving his time despite the use of old tyres and closing with the 12th fastest time on the combined sheets, with a 1’30.451 lap.
The good work done during the end of July tests was also confirmed by the results of his team-mate Danny Kent, with the Englishman finding a strong feeling on his Kalex. The Moto3 World Champion, at home in the morning on used tires and now recovered from the rib injury which forced him to miss Sachsenring, reported a best time of 1’30.588, less than 0.9s behind the leader of the first day Tom Luthi.
Saturday will open with the third and final free practice session, ahead of the afternoon show of Qualifying that will decide the starting grid for the Moto2 Grand Prix of Austria 2016.
#44 Miguel OLIVEIRA – 12th (1’30.451):
“It has been a good Friday! This morning I had a good pace and I finished in the Top 5: really close to the front guys. In the afternoon I have constantly improved my pace, although I cannot be satisfied with the location itself; but we worked for the race. Tomorrow we will have a new opportunity to improve the time. I am confident and I like this track very much!”
#52 Danny KENT – 17th (1’30.588):
Danny Kent: “Today has been 50-50. The first practice, we made good progress from the first races and we were able to get the top ten. I had a lot of motivation going into the second practice, we saved the three tyre for the afternoon but as soon as we put it in we found some new problems. So we have to solve those tomorrow to improve. only 0.3 from the top five but we’re down in P17, it’s very close as always. The good thing is we did a two day test here a couple weeks ago and we’re still far from our best lap back then, there’s still room to improve.”
Moto2™ Combined Free Practice Times:
1 – Tom Luthi / SWI / Garage Plus Interwetten / Kalex / 1’29.695
2 – Alex Rins / SPA / Pagina Amarillas HP 40 / Kalex / 1’29.773
3 – Johann Zarco / FRA / Ajo Motorsport / Kalex / 1’29.937
12 – Miguel OLIVEIRA / POR / Leopard Racing / Kalex / 1’30.451
17 – Danny KENT / GBR / Leopard Racing / Kalex / 1’30.588
Moto2™ Schedule (Local Time, GMT +2):
Saturday, 13th August:
10:55-11:40 – FP3
15:05-15:50 – QP
Photo credit: Leopard Racing