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Rocky Start to Spielberg Weekend for Gonzalez

Rocky Start to Spielberg Weekend for Gonzalez

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp’s Manuel Gonzalez held on to a top-12 result despite a crash early on in P2 ending his Friday challenge early. Teammate Kohta Nozane stuck to his objective of completing as many laps as possible and finished 28th in the combined timesheets.

It was a Friday filled with ups and downs for Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp’s Manuel Gonzalez. He had a solid start to the Friday in P1, but a fast crash in P2 halted his progress prematurely. Still, his morning time kept him in 12th position in the combined rankings, comfortably inside the provisional top 14 set to promote into Q2 after tomorrow’s P3. Kohta Nozane was focused on getting to grips with the rather unique Spielberg track early on in the Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich race weekend. Completing a total of 40 laps on the Friday, he wrapped up the day in 28th place.

Gonzalez needed only 10 minutes in Practice 1 to temporarily set the fastest time of the session. Content with the fast pace he found at the start, he spent the remaining 30 minutes on perfecting his bike’s set-up. Completing 15 laps in total, he saved the best for last. He clocked a 1’35.198s to round out the top 10 of the morning rankings.

The Spaniard had a rocky start to the afternoon session, suffering a fast crash in Turn 4. With the bike piercing the air fence, the session was briefly red flagged. Meanwhile, Gonzalez visited the medical centre for a medical check-up. He was later deemed fit to resume the race weekend but was unable to further take part in P2 as his bike was under repair. His best morning time kept him in 12th place in the combined Friday timesheets.

Nozane had never ridden at the Austrian circuit before today. He was keen to get as many laps in as he could in the 40-minute morning session to get into a good rhythm as soon as possible. His best time, a 1’37.208s, set on lap 19/20, put him in 28th position in the P1 classifications.

The Japanese rider continued his mission in the afternoon. He again got in 20 laps, focusing on getting the technique right at the Spielberg track, where the focus lies on braking and acceleration. He improved to a 1’36.551s, posted on lap 14. It saw him finish P2 in 27th place, as teammate Gonzalez had not set a time. Nozane stayed in 28th place in the combined practice timesheets.

Manuel Gonzalez

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp

"Today I had both bad and good luck at the same time. On the second lap of P2, on the run up to Turn 4, I was without brakes whilst going 260kmh, and I had to jump off the bike. Luckily, I am ok, and tomorrow I can come back to the track. It was a pretty good day for us, even without riding in P2. Our bike is going well, and I’m still inside the provisional Q2, but I know I could have improved my time more. Tomorrow is a new day!"

Kohta Nozane

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp

"It’s been my first day at the Red Bull Ring. The circuit layout looks easy, but it’s definitely not. It’s difficult to be fast here. Anyway, lap by lap, my feeling is getting better, and it’s way better than at Silverstone. I think I can improve again tomorrow.

"I’m really happy Manu is ok; it was a scary one."

Gelete Nieto

Correos Prepago Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, Sports Director

"We still need to understand why Manu crashed in P2. He started the practice very fast, but he’s been able to do only two laps. We are glad he is ok; it was a really bad crash in a high-speed corner, and it definitely could have been worse. He was confident in P1, he’s was fast. He had some chattering problems on the front, so for P2 we needed to make some adjustments, but we had no time to try anything due to the crash.

"Kohta is gaining good confidence with the bike, improving his feeling. He’s still learning, and it’s not easy. This is his first time at the Red Bull Ring. The important thing for him is to ride as much as possible, and that’s what he’s doing. Let’s see him make another improvement tomorrow."