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.