FONSI LEARNING, YUKI TESTING.
It was another day of hard graft for Team Alstare Suzuki riders Fonsi Nieto and Yukio Kagayama in Qatar today. Conditions at the Losail circuit were better today because the wind was not as strong and there wasn't so much dust and sand drifting across the track. Fonsi started the day with his set up from yesterday morning and then continued to work all day understanding the bike and any changes made to it. Yukio spent the entire day testing and developing new systems on the bike and worked hard with his crew to identify which ideas worked and which did not. Because of this he, like Fonsi, didn't bother to chase lap times, preferring instead to work on developing the bike for next season.
Fonsi - 1:59.60
I am very happy today because I improved my lap time by one and a half seconds, even though I was really using today to continue my learning process of the bike. For me there is a lot to learn about the this bike and I really want to get comfortable on it and get a good feeling for it before pushing hard. Lap times are not important to me at this stage because it's more important that the bike and I get on well. All the team are helping me in this matter and they're all doing a great job helping me to progress as quickly as I am. I'm still at the stage of adapting the bike to my riding style, but each time I get on the bike I learn a bit more, so it's all progress. So far, we haven't had any chance to test any tyres, but tomorrow we'll do that and, if the weather is good, I'm sure I'll go even quicker.
Yukio - 2:00.9
It is just as well that I'm not looking for a lap time, otherwise I'd be a bit disappointed. Today my job was to work hard and try many different things and give the team as much feedback and information as possible. We did a lot of work on the engine, electronics and suspension and some of the ideas gave us possibilities for the future and some did not. My team threw many different things and ideas at me today and I had to let them know what worked and what should be forgotten. This is part of my job and I have to do it well so we can make progress. Of course, sometimes working in this manner can be a bit frustrating, but I have to look at the bigger picture and just get on with it. My experience of this bike is much more than Fonsi (or Max Neukirchner), and at this stage it is up to me to do it - and do it well!