Mapfre Mahindra riders start weekend with strong pace at Phillip Island

By | October 16, 2015

Phillip Islands (Australia), 16 Oct 2015: Just five days after crossing the finish line in the Grand Prix of Japan the Mot

Guevara on Friday in Philip Islands. A Mapfre Mahindra image

Guevara on Friday in Phillip Islands. A Mapfre Mahindra image

3 World Championship riders were back on their bikes today to begin the sixteenth round of the season at Phillip Island. The Australian Grand Prix kicked off in typically changeable weather conditions, with the first session taking place in the dry but the second session starting off in the damp after some intermittent showers. The riders opted to wait in their garages until the track dried, with some riders able to improve their lap times but many struggling to match their pace from the morning. Indeed, the fastest time of the first day here was set in the opening session by Miguel Oliveira.

MAPFRE Team Mahindra’s three riders made a solid start to the Australian Grand Prix. Juanfran Guevara built on his excellent feeling at this circuit in 2014, working to a similar plan today as he made improvements in the second session to lap eleventh fastest overall, a little over a second off the fastest rider today. Pecco Bagnaia was two positions further back, the Italian feeling satisfied with his bike but uncomfortable with the strong winds that were a constant feature today at Phillip Island. Jorge Martín also struggled with the conditions but otherwise adapted quickly to the circuit and he is confident of improving on eighteenth place ahead of qualifying tomorrow.

11th Juanfran Guevara 1.38.306 (28 laps): “We had a good race at Phillip Island last year so I was really looking forward to this weekend. We tried to start with the same plan of attack today. We worked well in the first session but this afternoon the conditions were strange and we could only ride for the final twenty minutes so we don’t know how much we could have improved. I am happy though, it was important to start the Grand Prix strongly and especially to see where we could improve. We have done a lot of laps on the same tyre today and that is positive for the race. We had a consistent pace this morning and dropped the lap time in the afternoon. The objective is to continue in the same way tomorrow.”

13th Pecco Bagnaia 1.38.339 (28 laps): “Today was positive, I am happy with how the bike is working, it was just a shame that the wind was such a problem today. The feeling for the first day was really good and I was running in the top ten, it was just a shame that I got held up on my final lap by a rider on a slow lap. Anyway, I am happy with the result today. Tomorrow we have to try and improve and work on reducing the effect of the wind. It caused a few crashes in turn one today, it is not a nice thing for anybody. We will work on improving our performance tomorrow and maybe try lowering the front end a little so that it doesn’t get lifted quite so much.”