moto3 / Successful Jerez IRTA Test for Leopard Racing
Positive feedback after three days of testing at the 4.4 km Jerez de la Frontera circuit for Spaniard Joan Mir and the Belgian Livio Loi.
After the first private test of 2017, the Leopard Racing Team hit the Jerez circuit with added focus for the first official test of 2017. For the first time, all 31 riders and their teams were present on the same track ahead of the season opener.
Nine sessions of 1hr 10min each, divided across the three days from Wednesday to Friday were accompanied by high temperatures that saw the asphalt exceed 40 °C. The riders of the Leopard Racing Team did not stop, focused on the development of their bikes and in a hectic and continuous workflow between 10:00 and 18:00. Mechanics and engineers collected the precious reactions of the riders, using it to change the bikes as needed.
The two young “Leopards”, Spaniard Joan Mir and Belgian Livio Loi, carried out the relevant work program, aimed at improving their lap times and working on the handling of their Honda NSF250 RW.
Joan Mir continues to grow more and more comfortable on the bike of the Tokyo house, making minor changes to the geometry of the frame in order to improve his feeling on corner entry. His new teammate, Livio Loi, followed suit with a particular focus on the front end and the suspension. In the last day both riders crashed, fortunately without suffering physical consequences.
Loi tried different mappings and was able to complete 103 laps, often challenging the top ten. The Mallorcan Joan Mir ended the IRTA test in 1:46.691 in the combined times, taking home a lot of information for his technicians that will be useful for the next IRTA test in Qatar, a rehearsal of the first race of the 2017 season that will start on March 26 circuit of Losail.
#36 Joan MIR (1:46.691):
“It’s been three positive days for us, we tested many new things and collected more information on this new bike. The more time I spend on the Honda, the more I feel at ease with it. We made some changes to increase the grip and I could notice the improvement right away. We also found a good pace with old tires. I hope to continue in this direction and be ready for our next outing in Qatar.”
#11 Livio LOI (1:47.694):
“These were three challenging days for us, we tried different solutions in search for the perfect setup. We made some big steps forward through the three days, the bike seems to respond well to our interventions although high temperatures do actually affect the grip. I crashed out because I was pushing to the limit, but this also gave us some input on how to solve certain problems. It’s the first time that I have a teammate and it is great to work with Joan [Mir] as we can share views and information.”
Christian LUNDBERG (Tech. Director):
“We focused on developing the bikes according to the needs of the riders. We continued in the direction taken two weeks ago here in Jerez, in the private test. Joan [Mir] has constantly continued to improve his times, while Livio [Loi] was a bit slowed by two crashes. Both are struggling with the new bike in 2017, very different to the one we knew in 2015: we are pleased with the reliability of the engine package and electronics, we have yet to achieve a perfect chassis setting with both riders. We hope to try more components in the three-day test in Qatar. We are waiting for materials from Ohlins, a new fairing and a new gearbox. We will have so much work to be done.”
Photo Credit: Leopard Racing