This is a little report of my weekend on the second race of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at the Mugello. Which is one of the most beautiful race tracks in Europe but it is also really difficult to learn and to be fast on it.
It was the first time that I got back on a bike since my crash at the start of the CEV race in Le Mans, where my bike was totally destroyed. Therefore, I didn't have the opportunity to train with a Moto3 since last race. And because it was my first time in the Mugello, it was a really challenging weekend for me.
On Thursday, I did one sighting lap on foot (with my father and Romain my mechanic helper) to take some marks on the track. Then on Friday morning - in the first session of free practice - I tried different lines in order to understand the track and have a better feeling for the second session. I was the slowest on the straight part, nearly 15 km/h less than the other riders. So I tried to work on my position on the bike to increase my top speed.
It was raining for the second session of the free practice and I was able to get into 15th position but this time my top speed was 20 km/h slower than the other riders, because of my position on the bike and also because I was riding alone.
In the qualifying session, I started with a good group of riders which allowed me to get the 10th temporary position. Unfortunately, the bike was heating too much due to the tape bands on the radiator and I had to stop in the pit lane to solve the problem. When I got back on the track, I was ridding alone and therefore I didn't progress fast enough compare to the others. At the end, I qualified 14th.
At the race, I made a bad start - like in the previous races - and I was 20th in the first corner. At the end of the first lap I came round 17th but I had lost the contact with the rider ahead of me. Then lap by lap I made the effort to get back with the group in front of me. I made the connection on the 12th lap and then we were six riders fighting for 9th.
My problem with the top speed was a real handicap in the long straight of the Mugello. Two laps before the end of the race I succeed to be first of the group in the last corner but when we passed the finish line I was back at the rear. Then I understood that it was going to be impossible to finish on the front, so I did my maximum to not lose too many places but I finished only 14th.
Even though I constantly progressed during the weekend, I'm not satisfied with this result and in order to correct this I will have to work twice more for Assen race.
I would like to thanks all the technicians of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup for their professionalism in the Cup. They didn't hesitate to suggest me some modification in order to solve my top speed problem for Assen race. I'm really enthusiastic about the organization of the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup to help young riders to access in the Moto3 world championship.
I would like to thank Romain and the FFM for their help.
See you soon in Assen,