Technomag, GP of Catalunya, T. Lüthi, Top news

Tom Lüthi (10th) disappointed with his first day of practice in Catalunya


26 degrees air temperature, 44 in the sun and 56% humidity – it rained in the early morning in Montmeló, the home of the Circuit of Catalunya and riders were suffering on the opening day of practice for the Catalan Moto2 Grand Prix, round seven of the 2017 World Championship. On the modified circuit with a controversial and very tight new chicane, Thomas Lüthi (CarXpert Interwetten), who was second in the Italian Grand Prix last week and moved up only 13 points behind the championship leader Franco Morbidelli, had a difficult day. He was looking for the best solution especially in the modified section of the circuit. Finishing 10th overall, Lüthi still has work to do on Saturday. Jesko Raffin from Zurich (Garage Plus Interwetten) finished 22nd and is back to where he was at the beginning of the season, although he is still just outside the provisional Top-20. Finally, young Iker Lecuona from Spain (Garage Plus Interwetten) is back in action, 28th on this opening hot day. Iker was seriously injured during the pre-season winter test before he broke his collarbone again during the free practice for the French Grand Prix on the circuit of Le Mans. Frédéric Corminboeuf, the boss of the two Swiss teams, sums up the day: “It was a difficult day. We are far off with Tom and we need to work a lot to give him full confidence. The front guys were already very strong. We still have a day and a half to find a good solution; then for the race I believe in my rider. Jesko was back in business, which makes me really happy. At the end of the session he was on his best lap but lost some time in T3, which cost him the Top-20. Iker has made a solid comeback. It is never easy after two serious injuries. Our rookie showed us a lot of strength and character. Now we can build on this first day to step forward.”

He said...
Thomas Lüthi (carXpert Interwetten, 10th):
"One second gap is too much. I was asking myself questions already on Thursday when I walked the track and saw the new chicane. My impression was right when I was out on track today. The grip was bad during the first session due to the rain this morning. I did not improve in the afternoon, which I’m not happy about. We need to work to make the bike more stable. We tried several different things today and I believe that we have found a good direction. We need to confirm this tomorrow and more importantly on Sunday in the race.”

Montmeló (Spain). GP of Catalunya Moto2, first free practice day (2 sessions): 1. Morbidelli (ITA, Kalex), 1’49.731 (152.600 km/h); 2. A. Marquez (SPA, Kalex), + 0.316; 3. Oliveira (POR, KTM), + 0.434; 4. Nakagami (JPN, Kalex), + 0.594; 5. Corsi (ITA, Speed Up), + 0.627; 6. Pasini (ITA, Kalex), + 0.734; 7. Navarro (SPA, Kalex), + 0.766; 8. Hernandez (COL, Kalex), + 0.794; 9. Bagnaia (ITA, Kalex), + 0.958; 10. Lüthi (SWI, Kalex, carXpert Interwetten), + 0.998. Further: 22. Raffin (SWI, Kalex, Garage Plus Interwetten), + 1.953; 27. Aegerter (SWI, Suter), + 2.209; 28. Lecuona (SPA, Kalex, Garage Plus Interwetten), + 2.328. 33 classified.