Raffin satisfied after first day in Austin, Bendsneyder not yet
The difficult and extremely bumpy track of the Circuit of the Americas did not make it easy for the NTS RW Racing GP riders. Jesko Raffin ended the first day in Texas in seventeenth and the Swiss was quite satisfied with that. Bo Bendsneyder was not with his 24th place in the combined standings after two practices. The Dutchman could not improve his time from FP1 in the afternoon session.
The first day of the MotoGP of the Americas started quite nicely for both Bendsneyder and Raffin. With the fifteenth time, Bendsneyder was only a fraction away from direct qualification for Q2. With the seventeenth time, Raffin was also not far off.
The intention was to continue like that in the second session. In the case of Raffin that worked out well. With 2.11.810 he was a lot faster, although the position did not change. In the case of Bendsneyder, the plan did not succeed. Due to a malfunction in the electronics, Bendsneyder had to go back to the pits twice to have things reset. That not only took time, but also rhythm, and as a result of which the Dutchman was not comfortable. Bendsneyder could not improve his 2.12.466 from FP1 and was therefore stuck in 24th.
“That’s a shame,” said RW Racing GP team manager Jarno Janssen, “but the forecast is that it will rain tomorrow and then today’s times will be worthless anyway. Via Q1 we still have every opportunity to end up in Q2 and to make a good qualification, because both riders have a good pace. We have to wait and see how hard it will rain and how the track conditions will be in those circumstances.”
Bo Bendsneyder (24 – 2.12.466): “We had changed something at the front of the bike, but that didn’t work for me. Because we had already lost a lot of time due to the problems with the electronics, we could not reverse that change. That’s why I couldn’t improve my time in FP2. It’s is a shame, because it is there. We know that, so tomorrow we go for it.”
Jesko Raffin (17 – 2.11.810): “It is getting better and better. I have to ride more constant lap times, but that is very difficult on this circuit. This track is very technical and due to the many bumps it is difficult to ride the ideal lines. But that is precisely why I am satisfied with my times and position for now. Tomorrow morning we will see if we can take the next step, so that we can put down a good qualification.”