The Brit and Spaniard circulated to top ten positions in FP1 on Friday and Pol Espargaro was a very encouraging 7th in FP2 the same day. Warm and breezy conditions were again in place for Saturday’s action and both riders continued work on the KTM RC16 with a view towards the 27 lap distance at 14.00 on Sunday. Bradley Smith struggled with inconsistent rear tyre grip and posted a time for 17th in Q1.
“Everyone seems to be suffering with the same sort of problem at the moment and maybe having one of the softer compounds of the season here has something to do with it. It might be a false feeling of grip or some deformation. I don’t believe it is down to the surface of the track. Michelin usually has such a lot of grip in the rear but it is catching us out a bit. I’m still trying to figure it out and some people are managing it. Here at Le Mans the corners are so long that you spend a lot of time on the side of the tyre and any issue is exaggerated. We are trying to find the key. The soft rear seems to be working better than the medium but I can ride with both so we’ll see tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll be going for points.”
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