The 2020 season officially started today for NTS RW Racing GP, with the first of three days of testing at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit. Almost three months after the final test in Valencia, Bo Bendsneyder and Jesko Raffin were able to try the completely new and improved machine for the first time.
In November, Bendsneyder and Raffin tested a lot of new parts. Based on that test and the data from the previous season, NTS in Japan worked hard to create a new chassis. “A lot has happened in the winter,” says team manager Jarno Janssen. “NTS has worked hard with the information from last year and has created a completely new frame. One of the most important goals was to reduce the weight. In addition to a new chassis, we also have new suspension. We have only had one day and have done a lot with regard to the settings, but the first impressions are very good.”
Bo Bendsneyder completed 69 laps in three sessions. His fastest lap was 1.42.211. Raffin rode 65 laps and had 1.42.282 as the fastest time. Getting used to the new machine, building rhythm and working on a good base setting were more important goals for this first day than setting a fast lap time.
Bo Bendsneyder #64: “It's nice to be back on the bike and to be back with the team. Unlike a number of other Moto2 teams, we have not yet tested before. As a result, they already have more rhythm and experience with the new material than we do. It was important for us that we take steps with the new material and we certainly did that today.”
Jesko Raffin #2: “I trained as much as possible this winter, also in Spain, but also had to perform my military service in Switzerland. That makes it extra nice to be back on track with the Grand Prix machine and to ride with others, so that we get an idea of where we are. On this first day we mainly worked on the basic setup of the new machine. Even after just one day I dare to say that we are stronger than last year. Of course it is never fast enough, but gathering data was more important today than a fast lap, because now we lay the foundation for the rest of the season. Tomorrow we will continue to try new things. I have not even tried the soft tires, for example.”