SEPANG, Malaysia: Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF) Racing Team riders Anthony West and Rafid Topan Sucipto ended the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix in 22nd and 33rd position.
Both riders tested different chassis versions of their Speed Up prototypes in order to gather data and riding sensations for the ongoing development of their bikes, results and rankings were not the main focus in the two free practice sessions.
The 32-year-old Australian is aiming for top positions both in qualifying today and in the race, his 19-year-old team-mate from Jakarta, Indonesia, is still busy finding his way around Sepang Circuit but aims to improve.
West said: “Today (yesterday) was interesting for me and the whole team. The result in terms of lap times is of course not what I expected or hoped for, but it was good to confirm some feelings that I already had with the bike and to learn new things that stem from the different chassis that we used today. In a nutshell, I learned that the chassis we’ve been using so far has more rear traction, which is a strong point that we have to continue to reinforce. On the other hand, I had pretty much the same feeling from the front with both versions, which is a bit vague and floating.”
He added: “We’ve been working on this issue for some time now and we managed to improve things, but today showed us that we have to continue to work in this direction. In general, my biggest problem today was a lack of grip, but I was not the only one. It was an issue that the majority of riders had and I’m confident that with our planned set-up changes, we can be clearly faster tomorrow.” THE PENINSULA