NEW SEPANG SURFACE A CHALLENGE AHEAD OF MALAYSIAN GP In warm and humid but overcast conditions, Honda LCR rider Carlos Checa finished eleventh overall on the first day of free practice for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix. With new tarmac for this...
NEW SEPANG SURFACE A CHALLENGE AHEAD OF MALAYSIAN GP
In warm and humid but overcast conditions, Honda LCR rider Carlos Checa finished eleventh overall on the first day of free practice for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix. With new tarmac for this race, grip levels at the Sepang Circuit are much different compared to the old surface.
And these changed conditions were the main issue for Checa and the LCR team, as they searched for improved levels of front grip on the 5.54 km circuit. After heavy late morning rain, the afternoon practice session started with a damp track but dried after just ten minutes. Checa was quickly on the pace to be second fastest early, but dropped down the order, in a so far unsuccessful search for a better front grip. Randy de Puniet set the fastest time today.
CHECA: Eleventh overall - 2'04.770
CHECA: "I don't have enough front grip with this new asphalt, especially compared with the previous surface. We spent a lot of time today evaluating tyres plus both of the race bikes, but the solution we need is more front grip. The rear is less of a problem and hopefully tomorrow we can find some answers. After ten minutes this afternoon the track was dry but the new tarmac is very dark, completely black, and it is very difficult to see the wet areas."
For the 250cc Grand Prix Eugene Laverty was satisfied with a strong performance on his first visit to the demanding Sepang Circuit.
LAVERTY: "I'm quite happy, now we have solved the rear braking stability problems the bike is much more predictable and we can concentrate on improving the front turning. I did my fastest lap on a front tyre that is not my preferred choice, so I think I can be faster tomorrow."