Day one of MotoGP testing gets underway at the KymiRing in Finland
Mika Kallio has made history by being the first MotoGP rider out on track at the KymiRing in Finland on the first day of the Finnish two-day test. It is the first-time premier class bikes have been in action in Finland since 1982, with six test riders, including Stefan Bradl, Bradley Smith, Michele Pirro, Jonas Folger, and Sylvain Guintoli taking to the track in wet conditions to test an array of new parts, with Michelin technicians also in attendance monitoring tyre performance.
“I think for everyone if you can race at home it’s something special absolutely” said Kallio “and I was the first guy out with the MotoGP machine today so that’s cool to be the first to make those laps. I agree with what the guys have said, some parts of the track are quite slow, at the moment and especially in these conditions and new tarmac, with water…it was quite slippery all the time and there we couldn’t quite get the right feeling. But hopefully tomorrow it’ll be dry and we’ll get more impression how the racetrack is.”
Second on track was Aprilia’s Bradley Smith, with the British rider setting the first sub-two-minute lap.
“This is a different track, very different to anything we’ve seen before”, Smith said “quite tight and twisty and a little bit slow in places, but we also have places like Silverstone where it’s flat out everywhere – sometimes it’s good to have a complete different end of the spectrum. Also we have three different categories! It’s not just for MotoGP and I think those smaller bikes will really fit this race track. Let’s see tomorrow. There are a lot of off camber corners here which makes it difficult for the riders, it’s a technical challenge.”
Stefan Bradl also made history by being the first MotoGP rider to crash at the KymiRing. Testing continues with teams hoping for drier conditions on day two.
Words Pete Vorst