Mixed results for Repsol Honda Team in cold and wet Le Mans2017-05-19 09:06
Cold temperatures and intermittent rain showers throughout the opening day of the French GP produced mixed results for the Repsol Honda Team in Le Mans.
Marc Marquez, who used the new exhaust on both his bikes, was second fastest in wet-but-drying FP1 and then again in fully wet FP2, showing that he is already quite comfortable on his RC213V despite the tricky mixed conditions.
Dani Pedrosa suffered more in the cold conditions, struggling to put temperature into his rear tyre, and he set the 13th fastest time in the morning and the 21st in the afternoon, ending the day 14th in the combined standings.
The weather forecast for tomorrow and Sunday is better, and both Marc and Dani look forward to some dry track time in order to best prepare for the race.
2ND FP2 (2ND COMBINED) 1'38.755
“It’s positive to have started well today, as here in Le Mans it’s important to be ready for any kind of conditions. This morning there were mixed conditions with the track drying toward the end, allowing us to do the last exit on slicks. The feeling was good already, but the most important thing was to be able to be fast in the full wet in FP2. We worked a bit on the rain settings and in our second run I started to feel really good on the bike. We’ll see how the conditions are tomorrow; it looks like it will be dry and I hope that’s actually the case because it seems that the race also will be a dry one and it will be important to set up the bike well. The new surface is incredible, at least from what we could see in the wet. The grip is very good and even if it’s not easy to put temperature in the tyres, when you do get it you can be really fast.”
21ST FP2 (14TH COMBINED) 1'41.854
“Today it was a little bit difficult because in the morning we had quite changeable conditions, starting on the wet and finishing on an almost dry track. I changed to slicks a little bit too late and I couldn’t improve my lap time. This afternoon for some reason we weren’t able to put the right temperature into the rear tyre, so I had no grip. We tried to fix it but we couldn’t. We would like to understand why that happened but in any case we’ll focus on tomorrow. It seems we’ll have an improvement in the weather and therefore in the track conditions for the rest of the weekend, so we’ll work to improve our feeling and prepare well for the race.”
Combined Free Practice Times
Pos. Rider Num Nation Team Time/Gap
Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1'37.467
Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1.288
Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech 3 1.781
Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 2.140
Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing 2.960
Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 3.061
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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