ASPAR Team riders optimistic after making steps forward
Yonny Hernández, happy with his progress despite a late crash, whilst Eugene Laverty improves confidence in front end
After an unproductive first day at Phillip Island, the MotoGP field was today able to lap in much better track conditions, although the morning was lost again to several early showers. The quickest laps of the day swapped between the likes of Márquez, Lorenzo and Viñales, with the young Suzuki rider ending day two fastest down under. Parity was in evidence however, with just three-tenths separating the top four, with only two-tenths between Márquez, Lorenzo & Rossi, and just 1.5 seconds between the whole regular MotoGP field. Both Aspar Team riders finished within half a second of Dovizioso on the Works Ducati bike.
Once the two Aspar Team riders had waited for the track to dry, they both still completed well over 50 laps, with both Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty improving their feeling today on board their Ducatis. The Colombian showed himself to be very competitive in the early stages, but then a mechanical issue and a crash towards the end of the day meant he was unable to complete all his scheduled work. On the contrary, Eugene was more cautious at first, but as the hours went by the Irishman made significant progress, improving his confidence in the front end of his bike as well as his overall pace. By close of play, he was under one and a half seconds behind the day’s fastest lap (1.29.131).
16th Yonny Hernández 1.30.509 (56 laps): “At the start of the day we weren’t able to get to work because of the rain. Then after midday and into the afternoon we were quite competitive, finding a good pace which meant we could make improvements. Then we had an issue with an exhaust valve, which meant that we couldn’t control the engine braking. Thankfully, we solved the problem relatively quickly. Towards the end of the day when we were about to put on new tyres to try and lower our lap time, I had a small crash. Luckily there was no lasting damage and I can focus on the positive thing which is that we had a really good feeling with the bike. For much of today we were competitive and that’s what I’ll take out of the day, Tomorrow, we’ll be aiming to improve the bike’s response, and I hope that it all goes well and we can end the test in form.”
18th Eugene Laverty 1.30.617 (52 laps): “Today was good. The beginning of the day was wet so we had to wait a little bit but once it dried out I was able to make fifty laps, so we were able to adjust the bike and make it a little bit more comfortable for me. First of all the most important thing for me was to get some confidence with the front because that is what caused my crash in November. At the start it didn’t feel so good and I felt I was going to crash again but we made some progress and as my feeling with the front improved so did the pace. The lap time is coming but we have a lot more potential than this so we have a lot of work to do.”