- Special Pages
SEPANG: QMMF Racing Team riders Anthony West and Elena Rosell made the best out of a difficult first day of practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix yesterday.
Despite some initial set-up problems and a certain lack of grip, West looked strong and competitive at the dry first free practice session and reached his goal of a top 15 finish after a late tyre change.
His Spanish team-mate Rosell, who had never been in Malaysia before, struggled with the tropical heat and the difficult layout of the fast and flowing Sepang Circuit, but adapted to the new challenges quickly and marked the 32nd time.
Both riders would have liked to continue with the set-up work on their bikes in the afternoon, but several downpours made the task impossible.
At the beginning of the second free practice session, the track was damp and there was little to learn, so West, Rosell and many other riders waited in their garages for the track to dry up.
Instead, the rain came back towards the end. In fully wet conditions, West and Rosell went out once again to get the right feeling for their bikes in case of bad weather during the race, but the lap times remained insignificant.
West, who finished in 15th spot with a time of 2.08,980, said wet weather hampered his progress.
“In the first session this morning, the grip on the track wasn’t that great and the settings that we figured out after the Grand Prix of Japan didn’t work very well either,” West said.
“But after some more changes, the bike came better.
“In the end, we also changed the tyres and on the last two or three laps, I was faster immediately.”
Rosell, after clocking a time of 2.14,073, said: “To tell the truth, I was suffering a bit on this first day of practice at Sepang.”
She added: “It’s a new track for me with a challenging layout, it’s very fast and there are many interlinking corners where you have to find and follow a very precise line despite the width of the track. And of course, you feel the tropical heat.”