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Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Push Hard on Valencia Friday

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Push Hard on Valencia Friday

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team had a tricky start to the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana weekend but recovered positive feelings in the afternoon Moto2 session. Manuel Gonzalez and Keminth Kubo secured 21st and 25th place respectively in the combined free practice timesheets.

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team’s Manuel Gonzalez and Keminth Kubo showed determination on the first day of the Gran Premio de la Comunitat Valenciana. The Moto2 rookie duo made big steps in FP2 compared to FP1 and finished the first day at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in 21st and 25th place respectively in the combined free practice rankings.

It was a difficult start to the Valencia GP weekend for Gonzalez. Though the Spanish rookie knows the Cheste circuit well, he needed a bit of time to adjust his riding style to it on a Moto2 bike. He got in as many laps as possible to improve his feeling on the bike. His best time, a 1’37.666s, set on his nineteenth and final lap, put him in 28th place.

The Spaniard is, however, known for his adaptability. By the time FP2 was a go, he immediately started making up ground. He improved over 1.4s compared to his morning best time on only his fourth lap, posting a 1’36.241s. He then focused on further preparing for Sunday’s race, completing 20 laps in total. His earlier hot lap was fast enough for him to earn 21st place in the FP2 and combined FP results.

Kubo had a good feeling in the morning session at the perfectly sunny Ricardo Tormo Circuit. Familiar with the track, he was quickly up to speed and hoping to breach into the top 20, but a late crash in the final minutes ended his time attack. However, his 1’37.352s, set on lap 16/18, still kept him in 24th in the FP1 timesheets.

The team fully restored the Thai rider’s bike to being in top shape for the afternoon session. Kubo used the opportunity to get 17 laps in and work on riding lines, braking points, and cornering. He saved the best for last. A 1’36.527s, clocked on his seventeenth and final lap moved him up to 25th place in the FP2 and combined FP rankings.

Gelete Nieto

Sports Director

"Manu had some difficulties in FP1. He didn’t like the set-up of the bike, and he wasn’t confident with the wind. With a new set-up in FP2 and the soft tyres, he felt better. The wind was also less, and he could improve his lap time by 1.4 seconds. He is far from the front riders, but not too much from the fourth, fifth. To be honest, the first three riders are superfast compared to all the others. Kubo is very close to Manu. He had a positive day. He doesn’t like this track too much, but he’s always been quite fast here. He needs to work on the braking point. He doesn’t like his front set-up, but with some adjustments on the bike, he can do a good job tomorrow."

Manuel Gonzalez - P21 (1’36.241)

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"Difficult day for us. I struggled a lot in FP1, and I finished in the back. The bike was not working as I expected, and it was very difficult to ride. In FP2 we did a big step, and I know we still have margin to improve. We need to work well on the bike to do another big step tomorrow. We don’t give up!"

Keminth Kubo - P26 (1’36.527)

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

"We tried to ride as much as we can in FP1, trying to push at the end of the session to improve the lap time. I had a small crash, but in general it was a positive practice. We changed the bike's set-up for FP2, and I also tried to adapt my riding style. This track is difficult, so we needed to adjust something and try different things. We changed the tyres, trying to push again, and the lap time was better. The gap to the front riders is not too big. I'll do my best for tomorrow's qualifying."