Derendinger, Top news, GP de Catalogne, Jesko Raffin, Iker Lecuona

Jesko Raffin and Iker Lecuona reduce the gap in Catalunya


Another day with scorching temperatures on the circuit of Catalunya in Montmeló, a circuit that was modified overnight following the complaints from most riders, who did not quite understand during the first day of practice what has been done here this spring. A new chicane was created following the tragic passing of Luis Salóm last year. This chicane was indeed too narrow and very bumpy for motorcycle racing. After a meeting of the Grand Prix Safety Commission on Friday night, it was decided to proceed with the rest of the weekend using the circuit as modified last year the days following the tragedy - using the “F1” chicane. As a result, Thomas Lüthi (carXpert Interwetten), who was quite far off yesterday, had to start working from the scratch this morning and together with his technical team managed to bounce back. The second man of the provisional World Championship classification was classified fifth in the qualifying session (he got held up on his final lap). On Sunday at 12:20 (CET) he will start from the middle of the second row of the starting grid. The day was also positive for Jesko Raffin (Garage Plus Interwetten) and Iker Lecuona (Garage Plus Interwetten), which made the boss of CGBM Evolution, the company that aligns the two Swiss teams on the Moto2 grid, Frédéric Corminboeuf, happy: “Tom and his team did a great job today, which will allow him to start from the second row. This is positive given how difficult things were yesterday and in FP3. We will use the warm-up to find as much consistency as possible to secure another great result for the championship. Jesko unfortunately did not manage to pull all his best sector lap times together on the same lap, but he is improving again. With a good start tomorrow he can fight for the points. Iker still needs a bit of time, although I did expect a bit more from him on a Spanish circuit that he knows well, we cannot forget that he is only 17 years old, he has a lot of pressure and a lot of people here around him. Now I want to see a solid race, which should do him well.”

They said...
Jesko Raffin (Garage Plus Interwetten, 24th):
“I made a step forward this morning and was in the Top-20 in FP3, which was positive. It was hotter in the afternoon and I was struggling to achieve my times. I thought I was capable of doing a 1’50.9, which would have put me in the Top-20 again but I was 2 tenths off. I cannot be happy with this result, although looking at the gap (1,1 seconds off the third fastest), this is my best weekend for a long time. That said, the race won’t be easy: I will have to overtake at least 9 rivals to enter into the points.”

Iker Lecuona (Garage Plus Interwetten, 27th):
“This morning was very difficult, I was pushing harder but the times were not improving. For the qualifying session we changed the front suspension quite a bit and I felt better, although still struggling on the brakes to enter the corners. I decided to use tyre number 4 at the end of the session, it was my own decision and it wasn’t the right one. The most positive thing is that my physical condition keeps improving.

Montmeló (Spain). GP of Catalunya, Qualifying: 1. A. Marquez (SPA, Kalex), 1’49.408 (153.100 km/h); 2. Pasini (ITA, Kalex), + 0.107; 3. Baldassari (ITA, Kalex), + 0.644; 4. Nakagami (JPN, Kalex), + 0.793; 5. Lüthi (SWI, Kalex, carXpert Interwetten), + 0.798; 6. Morbidelli (ITA, Kalex), + 0.863; 7. Oliveira (POR, KTM), + 0.868; 8. Navarro (SPA, Kalex), + 0.938; 9. A. Pons (SPA, Kalex), + 1.007; 10. I. Viñales (SPA, Kalex), + 1.061. Further: 19. Aegerter (SWI, Suter), + 1.525; 24. Raffin (SWI, Kalex, Garage Plus Interwetten), + 1.779; 27. Lecuona (SPA, Kalex, Garage Plus Interwetten), + 1.951. 32 classified.