My week-end in Sachsenring was very intense. When we arrived in Sachsenring, we saw that the settings of my bike were slightly different to those we found in Assen. So, on each session we had to work to recover my previous settings.
The first practice session was good since I finished 4th. However, I had no feeling with the bike, especially on the front (dribble) and the rear slid a lot on corner exits. I rode alone to work on my race pace to be faster than last season.
Between the first and the second practice sessions, we worked on the frame to solve my problems with the brakes and acceleration. During the second free practice, my feelings were better especially on new tires that hide some issues.
Unfortunately, I crashed at the beginning on the last corner (highside). On the 4-5 first laps, my pace was really good but on used tires the previous issues took over. I managed to get back to pit lane with the bike. We repaired the bike to eventually finish the session in the 13th position.
Since the qualifying practice was scheduled right after the second free practice, we didn't have enough time to make big modifications on the settings. I didn't have confidence on the rear and finally, I finished 11th on the grid for the two races.
Before the first race, the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup staff decided to give me the data acquisition setup in order to track the bike behaviour during the race and to help me to find a good setting. I talked a lot with the staff to explain my issues and try to make at least various modification on the bike.
It helped me a little and I recover my feelings on the front. Concerning the rear, my sliding problem appeared again after 8 or 9 laps. So, the race was complicated. I was not in the good group after the start so I had to push a lot to fight for the Top 10. I finished 9th. This was a good fighting experience compared to the last season when I was not able to win this kind of battle during a race. I learnt a lot of riding points to be better for the second race.
After that race, I had a meeting with the data and frame engineers. It was very constructive for the second race. I made a quite good start. I finished 5th on the first lap. The leading group made a big gap since we fought a lot for the 5th place.
I was more heavier than the others, so the straight line was really difficult for me. I managed to finish 6th. The bike was really better and was nearly the same as Assen. My lap times were good. We still have work to do though.
One more time, I would like to acknowledge all the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup staff for the professional work during the week-end.
Talk to you later !