Busy Day For Simon Seals Front Row Start
A crash-strewn day at Estoril saw probably more Moto2 riders hit the deck than any other class, as qualifying practice for the Grand Prix of Portugal took place in tricky conditions. In particular the first and final corners of the circuit, as well as the chicane, proved to be the most critical points but for those who managed to negotiate them safely there was little to choose between the top seven riders, who all mounted a challenge for pole position. In the end it went to Stefan Bradl, for the third time this season, with MAPFRE Aspar rider Julian Simón forced to settle for a front row start in third.
It was a busy day for Simón, who crashed in this morning’s free practice after losing the front of his bike in turn one. He was fourteenth fastest in that session and after suffering some problems yesterday he was forced to grit his teeth and pull out a performance in the afternoon, gradually improving before setting a provisional pole lap with seven minutes remaining. Unfortunately for the Spaniard he was held up by traffic on track as two other riders went faster than him and he dropped to third. Xavi Forés had even worse luck in his attempts to get to grips with the Estoril circuit, suffering particularly with front end confidence which is in turn affecting his corner speed.
3rd Julián Simón 1.41.905 (20 laps):
“I am happy with the result today – I knew that little by little we would iron out the problems we had yesterday and move towards the front. I felt comfortable today but the acid test is tomorrow, when we need a good result no matter what. I feel strong and I am looking forward to it. I came here to enjoy myself and run at the front, which is where I feel I should be. The bike is running quite well so we’re going to see if we can make it even better in a couple of areas. All we can do is try to make a good start tomorrow and stay with the lead group. Moto2 is a tough series and if you take your eye of the ball you drop back quickly. The pace will be quick from the start if it’s dry – Bradl will be pulling from the start and I imagine Márquez, Takahasi, Luthi, etc, will be there too. My objective is to set a fast pace from the start and stay with them.”
31st Xavi Forés 1.43.710 (19 laps):
“Today was a tough day for me because I didn’t feel comfortable with the bike, I couldn’t get it around the corners quickly enough. As soon as I let off the brakes the front was folding and even though we tried a few different front suspension settings the feeling didn’t improve. It’s annoying to be so far back because I feel that the team and I have the potential to be further forward. Anyway we will keep working, it’s the race tomorrow and we can still improve in the warm-up. Let’s see if the weather is good to us tomorrow.”
Source: Aspar Media