MotoGP rookie Iker Lecuona displayed a rocket start into his first full MotoGP World Championship season with the ninth fastest time at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto today. Thereby, the Spaniard was just 0.364 seconds behind the top and only 0.002 seconds off Pol Espargaro on the fastest KTM, concluding Friday well placed inside the provisional direct Q2 spots.
At the same time, Red Bull KTM Tech3’s Miguel Oliveira was working on his pace for a long distance with using the same tyres all through FP1. In significantly warmer conditions during the second session of the day, he had no chance to improve on a single fast lap, but eventually finished 0.583 seconds behind the top 10 overall.
"I’m truly happy today. This morning, I started to work on the bike and improved a lot. Later on, I put a new tyre in and finished my first FP1 inside the top 10, so it’s really, really nice. I knew that it was difficult to do a fast lap in the afternoon, so I was working more for the race. I’m very satisfied, especially because I’m so close to the top, finishing just 0.364 seconds behind the fastest rider with 19 laps on the soft tyre. Overall, I’m really happy and I hope we can keep going this way tomorrow."
"It was a first good Friday for us. Of course, the position is not what we want and it doesn’t really reflect our work as we didn’t do any time attack in the morning or in the afternoon. I think our pace is much closer to the top guys than what the position shows. The team did a great job, we found some solutions to gain more grip and we are happy about today. Tomorrow we have our chance to go to the top 10, everything is very tight, but I think we can manage it."