By Sports Reporter/Doha
With a successful private testing session at Jerez recently, QMMF Racing Team riders Julian Simon and Xavier Simeon have begun preparations for the new Moto2 Grand Prix season on a positive note.
On the iconic track in southern Spain, both riders used the first day to rediscover their rhythm aboard a prototype racer after a winter break of almost three months.
Simon’s task was a little easier, since the 28-year-old Spaniard has already one complete season with QMMF Racing Team and the Speed UP machine under his belt.
Pushing the bike to the limit and finding the best riding style was slightly more difficult for his 26-year-old Belgian teammate, because Simeon joined QMMF Racing only after last year’s final race at Valencia and still needs to adapt to the Speed Up bike after having been on another brand previously.
On day two, both riders found the feeling they needed, which reflected in a strong and competitive pace within the Top 10 of the riders present at the circuit. Lap times as such weren’t very significant, because different teams ran different engine specs.
Only next week, when all Moto2 teams return to Jerez for the three-day IRTA test with the official single engine of the category, true head-to-head comparisons will be possible.
The most important result for Simon and Simeon was to get the right feeling and feedback from the bike, which established the perfect base to build upon at the next testing session.
“We had a good start into the new season. It’s always nice to return to the world championship and I was really looking forward to riding my Speed Up prototype again after a few months without having been on a bike,” said Spaniard Simon.
“In the beginning I struggled a bit, it seemed especially difficult to find the right set-up for the corner entries, while you are still on the brakes. But step by step, we solved our problems and on the second day, I had a better feeling, which is the most important thing in our preparations for the official IRTA test next week.
“There are no major innovations on the bike, we just tried a set-up that was a little bit different to what we had in the race here last year and also different to what we used in November at the end of last season.
“The main thing is that I feel good and that I worked well on the track. I also want to thank the team for a great job in preparing the bike!” he added.
“The first day was difficult,
we didn’t ride so fast and I was struggling to ride the bike the way it wants to be ridden. But on day two, we managed to go a lot faster, we were a lot better and during the whole afternoon, we had a good pace,” explained Belgian Simeon.
“My feeling was a lot better in comparison to yesterday. After three months without riding, it was not easy to find the right feeling for the Speed Up and it still felt new to me, even though we tried the bike in November.
“But in the end, we did a good job and I am happy to finish like this because the first test is always especially important. I wanted to finish with good sensations and we did it!
“Now we will focus on improving further and on trying to be faster again at the next test, so we will be ready for the first race. The bike is different, you have to ride it more aggressively than the Kalex, which is a big step for me because I always ride quite smooth,” he added.
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