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Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Find Early Form on Sepang Debut

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Find Early Form on Sepang Debut

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team‘s Manuel Gonzalez and Keminth Kubo started the Grand Prix of Malaysia weekend with perfect riding conditions in FP1. However, the weather took a 180-degree turn at the Sepang International Circuit in the afternoon halfway through FP2. Nevertheless, the rookie duo still finished Friday in fourth and 26th place on combined times.

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team‘s Manuel Gonzalez and Keminth Kubo got a taste of the Sepang International Circuit‘s speedy nature in both the dry and the wet on the first day of the Grand Prix of Malaysia.

Gonzalez was inside the top 10 early on in the FP1 session and then focused on race pace. Having never ridden at the Malaysian track before, he began to study the lines of other riders and was pushing. He completed 16 laps and clocked a 2‘08.763s on his penultimate try, which put him in 17th place.

The Spaniard did his homework, checking his FP1 riding footage, and booked a massive step-up in the afternoon. He topped the FP2 time sheets with a 2‘07.879s before the heavens opened and the session was red flagged with 22 minutes to go. It wasn‘t until an hour later that the riders were able to get back out, but the track was so wet that further time improvements weren‘t possible. Gonzalez‘ strong lap, set in the dry half of the session, moved him up to fourth in the combined FP results.

Kubo made the most of the perfectly sunny riding conditions at the Sepang track this morning. He used the 40 minutes of track time to get to grips with the technical track. He got in 14 laps and set a best time of 2‘10.415s for 27th place.

The Thai rider took positive steps in the first half of FP2. He set a 2‘10.162s that put him in 21st place before the session was temporarily halted due to torrential rain. After a long wait, Kubo was excited to head back out on track. He is known as a talented rain rider and showed some good pace, though not an improvement on his best dry lap time.

Manuel Gonzalez: P4

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

It was a super Friday. I struggled a bit in FP1, trying to learn the track. The gearing of the bike was not the correct one, so it made it more difficult. For FP2, I studied well how to do some corners, and we changed the bike a bit. Already from the first lap, I was very fast and confident, and I was able to improve one second compared to FP1 in two laps, ending the session in P1. I am very happy!

Keminth Kubo: P26

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

I tried to ride as much as possible in the morning, doing as many laps as I could. The track is very difficult. We didn't focus too much on the set-up, what we needed to do was ride the bike. In FP2, we improved the lap time a bit and it's a good sign. Then the weather changed suddenly, and we had to wait more than 30 minutes to restart the session. In the wet conditions I had a good feeling, but we need to continue our work in the garage.

Gelete Nieto – Sports Director

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

It's been our first day here in Sepang. Manu felt that the track was a bit difficult. It's different compared to others, it's larger and longer. Between the two practices, he watched the FP1 session on TV and he could understand his mistakes. In FP2, he rode really well and achieved the first position and fourth place in the combined practice times. It's impressive on his first time here! Kubo used the first practice of the day to learn the track. It's very important for him to ride as much as possible, staying always focused. He can always improve his lap time step by step. In the beginning of FP2, he immediately recovered 0.3s, but soon it started to rain. We changed the set-up, working in the garage, and when he rejoined for the last part of the session, he felt comfortable, and his lap time was pretty good.