The light rain and the very strong wind changed the plans of the Teams and Riders for this first Friday of the season. A few laps in the dry were carried out, looking for a fast laptime, without paying attention to the race distance, partly due to the highly variable weather, partly because with the inclusion of the mandatory flag to flag, the drop in the Pirelli tyres will be less influential.

Right at the green flag of FP 1, a heavy rain wet the 4,445 meters of the Australian circuit, forcing the protagonists to remain in the pits for more than half of the session. The asphalt here dries really quickly, also thanks to the strong gusts of wind, an aspect that allowed riders to make the most of the final ten minutes of the session. Andrea Iannone immediately showed a good feeling, confirming the positive things that appeared on Tuesday at the end of the test. P 6, below the target of 30.0.

Free Practice 1:
P 1   A. Locatelli   1.29.197
P 2   A. Lowes   + 0.106
P 3   S. Lowes   + 0.520
P 4   R. Gardner   + 0.558
P 5   A. Iannone   + 0.688
In FP 2 the script is very similar to the morning session; rain a few moments before the start, increasing wind and riders forced into the pits for a large part of the session. In the finale, on dry asphalt, the number 29 managed to complete five consecutive laps, with the best on the last one. Sixth position of the session, seventh in the combined, but what matters most is that the gap from the top is close, just over two tenths. Unfortunately the weather did not allow the scheduled work to be carried out, thus maintaining a basic set-up during Friday at Phillip Island.

Free Practice 2:
P 1   A. Lowes   1.29.042
P 2   N. Bulega   + 0.059
P 3   D. Petrucci   + 0.195

P 6   A. Iannone   + 0.281

Tomorrow hides many tricks and there will be several unknowns; in qualifying we will show up without having had the opportunity to test the SC0, and immediately afterwards a race with a mandatory pit stop will follow. It’s getting closer and closer to the first real race day of the year!

Andrea Iannone (Rider): 

“It was a hard day, the weather didn’t help and, due to quite wet conditions, we didn’t do much in the morning and in the afternoon. I don’t feel 100% satisfied because I know I didn’t make the most of our potential. We’ll go into qualifying with some unknowns, we would have needed to try a set-up that could have helped us with the soft tyre. Let’s see how it goes tomorrow, but from a race perspective I feel quite calm.”