Moto2 and Moto3 back on track at the Red Bull Ring
Each garage concentrated on their own specifics, with the majority of the Moto2™ grid taking part in the test day and lots of activity out on track. In the lightweight class, present were Red Bull KTM Ajo, Sky Racing Team VR46, the British Talent Team, AGR Team, Peugeot MC Saxoprint, RBA BOE Racing, Platinum Bay Real Estate and Südmetall Schedl GP Racing.
In Moto2™, Championship leader Franco Morbidelli (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) had two bikes in the garage to run back-to-back Öhlins comparisons, with teammate Alex Marquez also working on the suspension, as well as setup. Their key rivals Italtrans Racing Team worked on geometry and settings, as did Isaac Viñales (BE-A-VIP SAG Team). Teluru SAG Team rider Tetsuta Nagashima was more concentrating on ergonomics, as the Japanese rider settles into racing the 2017 Kalex chassis – which he has now had since Brno, meaning every Kalex rider is now on the new chassis.
At Tech 3 Racing, the team were testing out new Kayaba forks, Nissin calipers and a new exhaust – with Xavi Vierge starting with most of the novelties as teammate Remy Gardner concentrated on suspension and improving chatter he’d suffered during the race. Forward Racing Team saw Lorenzo Baldassarri sit out the test after his crash during the race weekend, with CEV rider Lukas Tulovic on track in his place. Luca Marini tested a rear thumb brake, looking to adapt the bike to his height as best possible.
Concentrating on the corners, Jorge Navarro (Federal Oil Gresini Moto2) was adjusting the steering angle to improve corner entry, with rival Hafizh Syahrin (Petronas Raceline Malaysia) also looking to improve turning. The Malaysian used a combination of changes to try and improve, working with the swingarm and the stiffness of the chassis.
Championship challenger Tom Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten) was one rider out on track testing a new Dunlop rear tyre, with a different compound, as well as key rival Morbidelli.
Lüthi will be one big name hoping to have made the most of the test day before the Championship gets back in gear at Silverstone – with Morbidelli gaining some ground in Austria and the race on to get it back.
In Moto3™, one of the biggest focuses was new tyres brought by Dunlop, with two new front compounds and three new rear tyres that are bigger in diameter.
John McPhee (British Talent Team) was one concentrating on tyres, as was Jakub Kornfeil (Peugeot MC Saxoprint) – with teammate Patrik Pulkkinnen instead using the track time to concentrate on riding.
RBA BOE Racing’s Juanfran Guevara and Gabriel Rodrigo also worked on riding, in a slightly different way. Guevara concentrated on working with the tyres, but also sparring with his teammate to give Rodrigo more experience in defensive riding – without losing time.
Sky Racing Team VR46 also had a specific mission for Nicolo Bulega, as the Italian worked on his starts, and the team also worked with chassis upgrades for 2018. Another KTM runner, Maria Herrera (AGR Team), used her time to do more radical setup changes – with Red Bull KTM Ajo also more concentrating on setup, as well as tyres.
Marcos Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate), with two bikes to work with due to his teammate’s injury, did back to back comparisons on two different engine maps. Philipp Oettl (Südmetall Schedl GP Racing), meanwhile, worked on finding the best geometry and suspension settings with the new swingarm KTM brought before Brno – looking to get more rear grip in the latter stages of the race.
Now it’s time for both classes to get back on the road and head north for Silverstone – and Round 12!