Asia Talent Team conclude preseason preparation for 2017

2017-04-19 13:56
The Asia Talent Team are now ready for the first race weekend of 2017 at Albacete, after gaining more experience and kilometres in the final two preseason tests at the Circuit Valencia on the 13th April and the subsequent stop on the 17th at MotorLand Aragon.

Ai Ogura, Somkiat Chantra and Yuki Kunii got their first taste of the Circuit Valencia in the test, with Kazuki Masaki and Andi Farid counting on some prior knowledge. The test day was intensive, with track action between 10:00 and 14:00 followed by another session from 15:00 to 18:00, and all the riders did sessions of between 10 and 12 laps. They also did a race simulation and practice starts on the grid. Valencia was also another chance for the riders to get better acquainted with each other, being the first time that Somkiat Chantra was present this year.

MotorLand was a similar day of preparation, but from 9:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 18:00 with a little more track time. Ai Ogura dominated the timesheets within the team, but did suffer a fall during the race simulation – although he fell from the lead. The Japanese rider will be recovered in time for the first race in Albacete.

Alberto Puig, Asia Talent Team Director: “The first test was a bit difficult because the riders hadn’t been on a bike for some time, and there were a few crashes. But the second and third tests went much better and we saw that we have a rider who is a little ahead of the others. The first race in Albacete is always a challenge because it’s a very closed track. We hope the riders can keep progressing, but we leave the tests hoping to hold our own and play a good role in the race. As it’s the first race there are riders who don’t know the track, that’s a challenge we have in our team – but we go into the season excited to race and wanting to get going, and hope that by the end of the season the riders have taken another great step forward.”

The next time the riders take to the track is now the first race weekend of the FIM CEV Repsol season at Albacete, from the 28th to 30th April, with one Moto3™ race on the agenda for the season opener. The first qualifying session for the Asia Talent Team gets underway on Saturday 29th at 10:20, with the 19-lap race set for Sunday at 14:00.

Albacete is a track with good memories for the Asia Talent Team. Last year, Andi Farid secured a front row start in P2 on the grid, whilst then-teammate Kaito Toba took third and registered the fastest lap of the race. The Team are aiming high once again in 2017, looking to get the season off to a flier first time out.

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