Mapfre Aspar riders Julian Simón and Mike di Meglio continued their adaptation to the Suter chassis in the more competitive environment of a timed qualifying session today as the grid shootout for the Grand Prix de France took place at Le Mans. A general lack of grip and front end chatter were the main obstacles to their progress today, Simón also suffering the setback of a crash in this morning’s free practice.
The Spaniard was able to return to the track in the afternoon, notably improving his pace with two late laps that secured ninth place on the grid, just four tenths off pole. The Frenchman was only a further six tenths slower but will start from 29th, having struggled with a steering problem that affected his pace.
9th Julián Simón 1.39.622 (18 laps): “All the riders are close and it is hard to pass people out there and improve your time. I’m satisfied today because we’re doing a good job, even though we’re still lacking front grip. We have tried altering the riding position to load more weight onto the front but it didn’t totally solve the vibration. We still have to get to know this bike but I am happy that we’re working in the right way. The difference between the front six rows is minimal so I’m sure the first few laps will be decisive. It will also be important to make a good start and not get trapped in a group in turn one.”
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