Positive start for Simon at Montmelo
After an intense few days at Assen just a week ago the Moto2 World Championship riders were back on track this afternoon as the Grand Prix of Catalunya got underway in scorching conditions. Ambient temperatures of 37ºC and 55ºC on track were the main handicap for the intermediate field, which has been boosted by a handful of wildcard entries and replacement riders. However, there were some familiar names at the top of the timesheets, local favourites Toni Elías and Sergio Gadea setting the pace with Julian Simón just four tenths slower back in eighth place.
For Simón and his Mapfre Aspar team-mate Mike Di Meglio this was an opportunity to return to one of the few circuits where they have Moto2 experience, thanks to a preseason test, but the weather and the machines have changed dramatically since then. Julián began strongly and was inside the top five for much of the session, lapping on a hard tyre for the majority of the hour before fitting a softer compound at the end, when he shaved a second off his best lap time. Di Meglio had more problems to adapt than his Spanish team-mate but the Frenchman is 18th and in the mid-pack of a large field, with high hopes of improving the handling of his Suter machine tomorrow.
8th Julián Simón 1.48.854 (19 laps): “I am happy because we have worked well in this first session – we could have done with a bit more time to test some other things but we still have all day tomorrow. It was really hot and that made tyre choice difficult, but I tried to spend as much time as possible on the hard compound because I think we’ll need it for the race on Sunday. My pace was good on it but now I’m unsure because we fitted a softer compound at the end and I went much quicker. Tomorrow we’ll have to see if it’s capable of lasting race distance and we’ll also try to improve the set-up with the harder option. I felt comfortable out there but we need to improve in two or three corners – other than that I think we’ve started well.”
Source: Team Aspar