Friday, March 21, 2014

Team Drive M7 Aspar's Hayden & Aoyama Improve on MotoGP Day 2 at Qatar Season-Opener

21/03/14. 01 GP QATAR - LOSAIL - FP3                                                                                                       


Nicky Hayden shaves three tenths off best time, whilst Hiroshi Aoyama improves by over a second

It’s only the start of the Qatar Grand Prix and of course the riders who recently tested here have something of an advantage, with a big debate going on in the paddock about the tyres available for the ‘sub-categories’ in MotoGP, but the usual order has been upset in the desert and that trend continued on Friday. There were two sessions today with a place in Q2 up for grabs, with the Factory riders having to work extra hard to go through and with some big names still with a lot of work to do on Saturday. It was another interesting day and Aleix Espargaró emerged on top again.

The DRIVE M7 Aspar riders made some setting improvements and were both able to reduce their times on the second day. Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama are working hard over the course of the weekend and FP3 was good for both of them. Hayden made a 0.3s step forward to end up 14th, whilst it was a bigger improvement for Aoyama, who overcame some difficulties from Thursday to take a second off his best time and conclude in 16th.

14th Nicky Hayden 1.56.357 (29 laps): “In the second session of the day we slightly improved, despite starting with used tires. It was very strange to see rain here at one point in the last outing. On our third run we made a change in geometry gave me a good feeling, similar to those found in the test week. We knew that today we would improve our times, but we also knew that the test performed here give us some initial advantage, but then the other riders would also catch up. In any case we are working the right way and trying to improve a little more each day. In the second session the grip was better and that helped us work better.”

16th Hiroshi Aoyama 1.56.939 (37 laps): “Thanks to the work of my mechanics today we resolved the electronics problems from yesterday, and we were able to work properly in both sessions today. In the first session we worked to improve our set-up, found some things, but were not been able to find the best solution. So in the second session we worked to adjust various aspects of the bike and it seems that the changes have been productive because I improved my times and feeling on the bike. So tomorrow we will continue working in the same direction to see where we can improve.”

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