Tyres, tyres, tyres… in the Barcelona paddock there has been talk of nothing else since the first day of testing. As predicted yesterday, tyre management for the 20 laps of the race influenced the result. Andrea was able to achieve an excellent front row in Superpole, fully exploiting the potential of the SCQ, then over the distance he tried to “accompany” the Pirellis with great kindness until the finish line, but did not obtain the desired results. Just in the final laps, Bautista overtook Andrea Iannone, taking third position. A race, however, solid and consistent, the first real long race since returning to racing, fourth place and best independent team at the finish line!

In the first round the Go Eleven team tested the SCQ, the Superpole tire for the 10 laps of the Superpole Race, obtaining encouraging data which will be useful on Sunday. The problems of yesterday afternoon seem to have been resolved and the good feeling with the Panigale has returned.

Free Practice 3:
P 1   D. Aegerter  1.40.695
P 2   D. Petrucci   + 0.121
P 3   A. Locatelli   + 0.263
P 4   R. Gardner   + 0.294
P 5   A. Iannone   + 0.400

In Superpole, the rider from Vasto was able to make the most of both time attack attempts; perfect track position, excellent references, best lap in 1.39.7, better than the all-time record in Barcelona. Toprak and Bulega were able to be more explosive, but it’s important to hit the front row to enjoy an excellent starting position. Truly a round full of tension and suspense, which, so far, Andrea has shown he knows how to face well. Third place, track (almost) clear when the green light goes off!

P 1   T. Razgatlioglu  1.39.489
P 2   N. Bulega   + 0.102
P 3   A. Iannone   + 0.310

In Race 1 Andrea used the strategy of waiting and going easy on the tyres; for the first twelve laps he always stayed in the top three positions, keeping pace with Toprak. Towards the middle of the race Bulega tried to force the pace by taking a large lead; number 29 maintained his own rythm, then when he could have pushed, both the front and rear dropped drastically, forcing him to defend himself, bringing home excellent points and a good result for the whole team. Maybe, now it could be said that he could have attacked from the start, having a similar drop at the end… but speaking at the end of the race is much more easy. The data collected today, and the experience gained, will be helpful for tomorrow. The weather on Sunday in Catalonia predicts lower temperatures and a slight risk of rain. For now, it’s time to analyze the data and find some small solutions during the evening!

Race 1:
P 1   T. Razgatlioglu   34’19.817
P 2   N. Bulega   + 0.868
P 3   A. Bautista   + 5.338
P 4   A. Iannone   + 8.543

Andrea Iannone (Rider): 

“I’m happy with the qualifying we did, it was important to be able to start on the front row and we did it. Here in Montmelò it was my first long race, twenty laps, after many years. The conditions of this circuit, which have always been critical , they taught me that waiting to push was useless. I could have gone faster straight away but I preferred to wait to push so as not to wear the tyres excessively. When on the twelfth lap I wanted to give my all I realized that the tyres anyway they weren’t there and at that point I lost the initial speed. We’ll understand what strategy to get tomorrow with this awareness. Despite the effort it was very good, we came close to the podium, naturally we’re not satisfied, but I think it’s a good starting point!”

Denis Sacchetti (Team Manager): 
“I’m happy with Andrea because this was his really first long race and in difficult conditions due to the great tyre drop that occurs on this track. He managed the race in the best possible way, taking the maximum, he used the throttle gently, to try to save the tyre and we came close to the podium. I think he proved to be smart and fast again. We continue to work and improve, we continue to understand more and more what Andrea needs and he certainly needs to do km to better understand bike and tyres. We’re having fun so let’s continue in this way!”