The Moto2 teams and riders enjoyed the kind of weather they’d never expected to see at Le Mans as warm sunshine welcomed them to France for the third round of the season – betraying the traditional conditions at this race. Local favourite Jules Cluzel took advantage to set the fastest time on the opening day but all 41 riders in the new intermediate class were in close proximity.
Mapfre rider Julián Simón reported positive feedback from his first outing on the Suter chassis since an initial shakedown test at Albacete last week. The Spaniard set a consistent pace throughout this afternoon’s hour-long session as he continued his adaptation and he spent the majority of that time amongst the pacesetters. Only a technical setback in the final few minutes limited him to seventh place overall. Mike Di Meglio was just four tenths off the pace of his team-mate, struggling slightly more to adapt to the new frame at his home circuit. The Frenchman was 21st on the time sheets but is well aware of where he needs to improve if he is to make a stronger challenge tomorrow.
7th Julián Simón 1.40.808 (22 laps): “I am really happy to start the Grand Prix like this on the new bike. We still have a lot of work to do on the chassis set-up and we need to put more kilometres on the clock so that myself and the mechanics can understand it more. To be honest we’re really happy today though and we’re confident we can improve tomorrow. By the halfway stage of the session I was challenging near the top but when we put a fresh tyre on we had a problem with the gearbox and I had to pull in. In the end there was no time for more. We’ll try some more things with the set-up tomorrow and try to finish higher up the order. The sessions at Albacete and here have already given us a lot of confidence in the front end through the corners and I think we have time tomorrow to prepare the bike for the race.”
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