BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com tackles first Suzuka Sessions
Suzuka, Japan. The BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com squad has tackled the first free practice sessions for the legendary 8 hours of Suzuka today, Thursday. The riders Markus Reiterberger (GER), Tommy Bridewell (GBR) and Bastien Mackels gelled together further and finally got some dry track time under their belts after the test sessions two weeks ago where washed away with just one single dry session in two days.
Due to a total of 84 machines entering this year’s 8 hours race of Suzuka, the second round of the FIM Endurance World Championship, the sessions where split into Group A and B with BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com entering the B-group.
As rain showers stopped shortly before the A session, the track was almost dry when Reiterberger, Bridewell and Mackels headed out for their session, making fast progresses.
FP1 saw the trio holding to fifth in Group B whereas in the late afternoon they were able to improve their pace to 2:10,918 Minutes which gave the BMW S 1000 RR riders a 8th spot in their group and P16 of both, Group A and B, of the day.
All three spent a first dry day together, starting with the rain setup from the test sessions two weeks ago. Now the team is working towards tomorrows next free practice session, the two Qualifyings and the night practices, to further improve the BMW S 1000 RR.
The best time of the day is held by the Yamaha Factory Racing Team with former MotoGP™ podium finisher Katsuyuki Nakasauga and both current Tech 3 MotoGP™ riders Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith, lapping the Suzuka Circuit in 2:07,282 Minutes.
Of course I am not too satisfied with where we landed today but it was good to finally get a full dry day under our belts. Besides still learning the track we more or less started from scratch today as it is not only my first time here in Suzuka, but also the first time for the whole BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com. Furthermore the test was rained away, so we only started to set up our BMW S 1000 RR today. There is a lot more to come!
We’ve broke into the 2:10’s and that’s a good sign we are working in the right direction. The bike feels good, but we are still working to improve it. I’ve got great confidence in my mates Markus and Bastien as well as in the team to further up the pace tomorrow.
We were lucky to finally get a dry test day in today and I hope it stays like that for the rest of the weekend. We are now working hard to get the bike feeling better for all three of us. Our set up work starts here but we already made a big step from the first to the second session, so there is more to come tomorrow.
It is good we finally were able to work today. I think we are now having a good base, the riders all three know, what they want and we are going to make further steps tomorrow. Today has given us a great idea about what to do in terms of everything – suspension, electronics etc. Tomorrow will be a long and hard working day, but we hope to be able to further up the pace.