Riders Still Searching for Confidence on Day of the Fallen
If you wanted irony you’d find it at Phillip Island. The Moto GP paddock rolled in to supposedly take advantage of the Australian summer only to be met with days of rain.
Day 3 of the test found both ASPAR Team riders unable to carry out their testing plans. Laverty still recovering, having admitted yesterday “I felt I was going to crash again”. While Hernández did they honours on Day 2.
On day 3 they would be joined by an ever increasing list of riders to fall off their Michelin shod machines as they tried to push on for the final time in Phillip Island.
Tito Rabat, Jack Miller, Maverick Vinales, Pol Espargaro, Aleix Espargaro, and that was before the rain came! After the rain it was a similar story. Tito Rabat and Aleix Espargaro had their 2nd (seperate) crashes of the day, while Aspar rider Eugene Laverty crashed without suffering further injury.
Even Champions were not immune as Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez would suffer similar fates. It was worse for Danilo Petrucci as a crash at turn 8 left him with multiple fractures in his right hand.
Marquez topped the timetables with a 1’29.158 but it was Maverick Vinales who walked away from the 3 day test as the fastest rider with a 1’29.131.
The adverse weather conditions were the last thing the ASPAR Team needed at Phillip Island, with both Yonny Hernández and Eugene Laverty unable to complete the extensive plan of work they had scheduled. The Colombian was able to make a small step forward during the limited track time available today although he is keen to try further solutions to the problems that have held him back recently at the Qatar test. On the other side of the garage his team-mate Eugene has been able to gather more data and improve his physical condition following his hand injury at Sepang, and he is hopeful of being back to 100% in time for that crucial final test of preseason.
18th Yonny Hernández 1.30.492 (54 laps): “The weather has not been on our side over these last three days and overall it has been a frustrating test for us because we have suffered some setbacks that have prevented us from being where we would like to be. Yesterday we established a good feeling, today it wasn’t as easy at the start to get on the pace but we made a step forward that helps us understand the bike more. In Qatar we have another chance to keep working and hopefully we can have everything ready for the start of the season.”
19th Eugene Laverty 1.31.055 (45 laps): “Like yesterday I continued to build my confidence in the bike today and now we are working through some chassis settings to see how we can make it more suited to my style. I feel that we understand the way for the future but right now we need more performance. I don’t like being this far down the order, that’s for sure, but at least today my body feels better. After yesterday I felt pretty beaten up but today I feel physically much better so hopefully by Qatar I can be fully fit and ready for it.”