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BarcelonaGP: Tom Lüthi at the top on Friday

Tom Lüthi started the weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the best lap time of the first practice day.

His fastest lap time, a 1:44,673, Tom Lüthi rode on his first run of the opening day in Montmeló. However, the advantage over Alex Marquez is less than a tenth of a second. Therefore, the Swiss and his crew will continue to work hard to optimize the setup of the Intact GP-Kalex, so that the current championship-third doesn’t need to constantly push to the limit, risking a lot as he is doing at the moment, and to give him the possibility to be up in front also on Saturday.

Tom Lüthi P1 - 1'44.673 (-0,060)
«We tied on the base from Mugello and immediately I was half a second faster than during the test here. It is obvious that the team had done a great job in Mugello. I was not sure yesterday how today would go, but it was really going well today. We still have difficulties with the grip though, but that’s the same for all of us. It is not easy to find the right balance with this bike. We have tried a lot today, but it is not easy to take the steps into the right direction. I was able to ride my fastest lap in the first outing early this morning. In the afternoon at the end I was able to make another good lap, a 1:44.8. But there is still a lot of risk involved. I was pretty close to the limit, in the second last corner I almost lost the front. I hope that we can optimise the bike for tomorrow and make it easier to ride.»

Michael Thier Crew Chief #12 Tom Lüthi
«We started with a mix of the data from Mugello and from Barcelona. We used the knowledge we gained in Mugello and during the test here in Barcelona both for the setup. Then, before the second free practice session, we made a modification that was quite positive. The high temperatures of the asphalt made it more difficult and shifted the balance of the bike a bit. But basically we were fast in the afternoon as well. For tomorrow there are still a few things to try and adapt, but apart from that we are satisfied. With the tyres we still have to struggle a bit with the grip, but that's the same for everyone else as well. You have to keep in mind that here in Barcelona you are always on the low grip level with these tyres. But basically we will try to improve in this area as well, of course.»

1. Thomas LUTHI / SWI / KALEX - 1'44.673
2. Alex MARQUEZ / SPA / KALEX - 1'44.733 (+0.060)
3. Jorge NAVARRO / SPA / SPEED UP - 1'44.740 (+0.067) 

1. Augusto FERNANDEZ / SPA / KALEX - 1'44.782
2. Thomas LUTHI / SWI / KALEX - 1'44.870 (+0.088)
3. Alex MARQUEZ / SPA / KALEX - 1'44.910 (+0.128) 

See the combined practice times here