The first day of the Italian GP at the fabulous Mugello circuit was a busy one for RW Racing GP. The circumstances for the first free practice were pretty good: warm and dry. Nevertheless Luis Salom could not lap faster than 20th – much to the dissatisfaction of the Spanish rider who rounded off his first 125cc podium finish in the Dutch TT just a week ago.
The Mugello track in the hills of Tuscany has a completely different character than the TT-circuit in the heathlands of Drenthe. Therefore the setup of the motorbike had to be changed drastically. Something had gone wrong doing so. Crew chief Hans Spaan and his team had their hands full in between the two sessions to improve the machine.
Meanwhile the weather had changed radically. Temperatures had dropped at least five degrees, the sun was hidden behind dark clouds. In the beginning of the session it was still reasonably dry, with just a few drops of rain. Salom set his time – good for seventh – in just six laps before the team called him in. ,,Because we had made so many changes between the two practice sessions, I wanted to check if everything was working well,’’ Hans Spaan explained.
Besides that the bike needed new tyres. The new, grippy surface of the track wears off the rubber more quickly. ,,I wasn’t very happy to come in so soon, but when I saw the tyres I understood the need for it,’’ Salom said. ,,A crash is not an option. The team doesn’t want to have me in the hospital.’’
While the mechanics were checking Saloms bike, the spitting turned into a real shower which made a faster lap impossible. ,,That’s a pity, because I think I could have been a lot faster. Maybe somewhere around third or fourth. On the other hand: it’s just a free practice. Nothing is at stake yet. But I do hope I can make a good set of laps in the remaining free practice on saturday morning to get some more rhythm and build up more feeling with my bike and the track.’’
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