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JerezGP: Tom Lüthi amongst the front group on day one

The Grand Prix of Spain started promising for the Dynavolt Intact GP rider Tom Lüthi. The Swiss rider secured himself the fourth position on the combined time sheets of day one in Jerez de la Frontera.

Under the burning sun the weekend at the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto started with the first free practice sessions. Due to the increasing wind in the afternoon, almost none of the Moto2 riders were able to improve their lap time from the morning. Another challenge was also the the fact that the Moto2 class received a new, slightly wider and higher rear tyre from Dunlop this weekend in Jerez. Tom Lüthi seemed to feel immediately comfortable with the higher grip level of the tyre. The Swiss finished fourth in the first session with a time of 1'41.958 and the gap to Jorge Navarro, the fastest of the day, was only minimal with 0.139 seconds.

Already in February the Intact GP riders were able to test the newly introduced tyre model in a similar version. Nevertheless, the crews still have some work ahead of them to adjust the balance of their Kalex bikes to the tyre. Tomorrow, Austin winner Tom Lüthi will have another 40 minutes for more set-ups in the final free practice session before the qualifying for the best grid positions for the Gran Premio Red Bull de España begins.

Tom Lüthi P4 - 1'41.958 (+0.139)
This afternoon the wind was stronger and I struggled a little bit. At the beginning I used the old tyres of the FP1, which really cost me a lot of effort. I just didn't get into the speed. I tried to build on the rhythm with the new set of tyres. The rhythm was very high, but I lost all of it in the last section. I pushed a lot and was just able to safe the front a couple of times. It shows us that we are at the limit. We have to try to adjust the bike, so the feeling of being at the limit applies later. Regarding the whole day’s process we are not that bad, but we still have some work to do until tomorrow. We have a new rear tyre here. We already know the compound, but due to the bigger contact patch that the tyre has due to its shape, the bike behaves a bit differently. It's almost like there's too little grip in the front and too much grip in the back for the front wheel. But it is exciting and it will be interesting to see how the tyre behaves when there is more rubber on the track. I basically like having more grip, but it means we have to work on adjusting the balance on the bike.

Michael Thier Crew Chief #12 Tom Lüthi
Our main focus today was on the new rear tyre. It was mainly about making adjustments and understanding how the tyres behave. Like every race weekend, we have to sort out which tyres work best in which situations. The basic setup of the bike is very similar to Austin because it worked well. That's why the focus today was almost exclusively on the tyres and finding the best possible balance for them. We have data from the IRTA test in February where we rode with similar tyre combinations and we are now evaluating them. Then we see what we have to change to hopefully find a good solution for tomorrow.

 

FP°1:
1. Jorge NAVARRO / SPA / SPEED UP - 1'41.819
2. Brad BINDER / RSA / KTM - 1'41.838 (+ 0.019)
3. Jorge MARTIN / SPA / KTM - 1'41.935 (+0.116)
4. Thomas LUTHI / SWI / KALEX - 1'41.958 (+0.139)

FP°2:
1. Marcel SCHROTTER / GER / KALEX - 1'42.233
2. Alex MARQUEZ / SPA / KALEX - 1'42.244 (+0.011)
3. Jorge NAVARRO / SPA / SPEED UP - 1'42.259 (+0.026)
7. Thomas LUTHI / SWI / KALEX - 1'42.498 (+0.265)

See the full result here