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Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Level Up at Portimao Test

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team Level Up at Portimao Test

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team enjoyed an exciting debut at the roller coaster track that is the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. After three full-on days at the Portimao Moto2 & Moto3 Official Test, rookie riders Manuel Gonzalez and Keminth Kubo finished in 25th and 26th place respectively on Day 3.

Following their online team launch on February 18, the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team have sprung into action at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve for the Portimao Moto2 & Moto3 Official Test, held from February 19-21. New entries Manuel Gonzalez and Keminth Kubo made the most of their time on track, soaking up as much information and experience as possible during their official debut as Moto2 World Championship riders. They finished in 25th and 26th place in the combined timesheets on Day 3.

Coming from the Supersport series, Gonzalez used the Portimao Test to adapt to his new bike. Even windy conditions on Day 1 couldn‘t keep the Spanish talent from finishing in an encouraging 18th place with a 1‘44.746s fastest lap. On the sunny second day he found an improvement of nearly one second. The number-18 rider continued working hard to understand the bike better on the final day of testing, completing 37 more laps to come to a total of 152 laps. A 1'43.593s earned him 25th place in the combined Day 3 timesheets, 2.041s from first.

Kubo made good steps during the first official test. He has three years of CEV Moto2 experience and used it to jump from a best time of 1‘45.699s on Day 1 to a 1‘44.481s on Day 2. Working closely together with his crew chief Alessandro Finelli, the technical solutions found on the second day of testing also led to positive results on the third day. After riding 36 laps today and 146 in total, he completed the test with a best time of 1'43.706s, for 26th place, 2.154s from first.

Manuel Gonzalez: P25 - 1'43.593s (+2.041)

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

It has been a very difficult day for us. We changed a lot of things on the bike, but the problem was still there and still big. I thought that at this point I could go very fast with this bike, and to me it‘s a shame it‘s not happening because this problem is holding me back. Luca Capocchiano tried to help me a lot, but I feel the same also with big changes. Now the test is over, I will put my mind to the Qatar GP, and I can be positive because I am happy that we tried a lot. I‘m learning how to adapt to this bike.

Keminth Kubo: P26 - 1'43.706s (+2.154)

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

I‘m happy about these tests and about today. I did really many laps, and in the morning we improved the lap time compared to yesterday. We changed the setting of the bike a bit, and we continued to improve also in the afternoon. Finally, the gap gets closer to the top, and I‘m satisfied about today‘s results. Now it‘s almost time to go to Qatar. It will be the first real GP for me, and I‘m quite nervous!

Gelete Nieto - Sports Director

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Team

Our work in Portimao is done. It was a ’normal test‘. Our team is still brand new, so we didn‘t really look too much at the times. It‘s still too early for that. We need to understand the bike first, and also all the crew members need to adjust first because we are at the start of our work together as a team. But I think that the method of the team is correct. The riders did technical debriefs with the crew chiefs every day after the sessions. They liked that a lot because it‘s a good opportunity to share information of course, but also to get to know each other better. I think the alignment in the team is very nice. I think we will be improving race by race, and we will try our best at the upcoming round in Qatar.

Manu‘s test was good because he understands his bike better now. For sure, it‘s a difficult transition for him from Supersport to the Moto2 class. These three days were probably not the time for him to fully understand everything. We need to improve a lot of things, but that‘s to be expected at the start of his journey.

I think Kubo will go home happy because he improved a lot on the second and third day of testing. He is always improving, and he did a good test. But obviously he also needs to learn a lot because we are far from the top now. I think that the results will become better step by step. His feeling with the bike is good, and the bike is not moving too much.

Manu and Kubo did a lot of laps here, and that‘s very important for their learning process. This category is very difficult. It‘s the most difficult class to get the position on the bike right. For this reason, these three days of testing were very important, and luckily the weather was so nice! We are ready for the first race.