Red Bull Rookies, Jerez: Dan’s report
Here is Dan’s report on his Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup races at Jerez…
“With a difficult qualifying we felt we needed to make big improvements for the race, we had nothing to lose so we took a gamble and went from a 90kg spring on the rear to an 83kg spring. We felt we needed to do this to see if the problem was we were working the tyre too much and the suspension wasn’t working. Going in to the race I wasn’t confident that we were gonna do well, I felt the only hope I had was getting a good start and just hanging in for the full 16 laps.
My initial get away from the line wasn’t the best, but in top turn one I had made 4 places, as many crashed out at turn one, I was 13th in to the second corner. As the race developed I couldn’t keep the same pace as the pack and I dropped backwards, this resulted us being at the back on my own. It was a good opportunity for me to try different things on the bike, I worked on my riding style for the remainder of the race.
I was very lucky to cross the line in 17th, many had crashed out and nearly myself, on lap 6 I came out of turn 6 and changed gear from 1st to 2nd, this unsettled the bike so much that it threw me forward and caused my helmet to smash the screen. I had many of these moments during the race and I couldn’t resolve it. The overall feeling was okay at the end of the race, I had finished my first ever Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup race in P17, but on the other hand we needed to improve for race 2.
In race two we had the same problem as I initially had on the 2016 KTM with Racing Steps Foundation/KRP, we solved this through going softer on the rear and putting 50mm of foam on the back of the tank. So for race two we changed from an 83kg spring to a 80kg spring and also put 50mm of foam on. Also we added 10ml of oil in the front forks as we felt we needed more support when coming off the brake and on to the throttle.
These changes were a gamble for us but I felt confident they would pay off, going in to the race I had the same plan as race 1, I needed a good start and to get away with the pack. On the two sighting laps I had a good feeling for the bike, I was happier with this feeling already. I got a good start again, by the second corner I was up to P13. For the first 4 laps I was battling for P10, but due to my riding style I was using the side wall too much. This meant I dropped back in to the fight for P15, I tried my hardest to get 15th but I crossed the line in P16 and only 2 seconds off my first point.
For me this was a very positive race, we struggled all weekend and we finally made some steps in the right direction and I feel we have a starting point for round 2 of Assen.”