The first weekend of Valencia Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup is over.
On Friday during the free practice sessions it was more than anything a good learning experience in constantly changing circumstances.
There had been a lot of rain on Thursday evening and during the night. At 9.15 am in FP1 it was mainly a matter of looking for grip on a wet and slippery track.
But considering such conditions it wasn't too bad and lap by lap I could build up a better feeling.
Until unfortunately I crashed after eight laps. Still, finishing the session with a fourth time was good.
FP2 was more difficult because the track wasn't full wet but also not dry.
I was able to make a lot of laps and seventh position was again a good result.
Full of confidence I went into qualifying on slicks, as most of the track was dry.
Unfortunately during this important session I had a lot of problems with the engine, something was wrong.
A technical problem was found afterwards but after 2 good Free Practice sessions it was disappointing having to start both races from 17th place on the grid.
In Race 1 the circumstances were very tricky because there was a dry line but also a lot of wet parts.
My start was quite good but it was difficult for all riders to find a good grip feeling.
After a number of laps there were already many crashes. Still I personally felt okay but on lap 7 ..... another rider in front of me made a mistake when downshifting and he suddenly slowed down a lot where I certainly did not expect it....I had to brake very hard but still hit his rear and crashed. Knowing that in the end my group was fighting for the last podium position, it was a case of a missed opportunity.
Separate from this I learned a good lesson. At this time of the day the sun is very low and it becomes important to pay attention to the right helmet visor choice.
Race 2 on Sunday was dry with only turn 1 still a bit damp. As we had wet and damp free practice and qualifying sessions, the setting of the bike was not quite optimal.
In the first lap a number of riders crashed which resulted in a gap from my group to P6. I was able to ride a good consistent pace throughout the race and eventually my group could reconnect to the group in front of us. In the end I guess I have to be pretty happy finishing P8 after a solid ride and starting from 17th.
Would be great if the sun will be smiling at us next weekend!