Following a long winter break the Losail International Circuit eventually saw the first track activity in 2021 today. In windy conditions both, Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci have been amongst the first riders at the circuit on the first of two official test days this week, starting to shake off some winter rust to get up to speed step by step.
Thereby, Lecuona, who will compete his second year aboard the KTM RC16, did a total of 55 laps throughout Saturday, making his comeback after he was forced to sit out the final three rounds of 2020. At the same time, Petrucci was riding the orange machine for the very first time, starting to get used to his new environment and concluding his debut day with KTM just 0.069 seconds behind his teammate, after doing 60 laps at the popular venue in Qatar.
"I’m happy, because I was finally jumping back on the bike today after a long time. It felt a bit strange in the beginning, because I was training a lot during the winter, but the MotoGP machine is obviously completely different to what I am practicing with at home. Physically it’s very demanding, but I’m satisfied. I was working a lot on myself. Today we didn’t change a lot on the base setting, apart from the final runs, where we were working on the bike a little bit. Overall, I’m glad about today. We still have four days to test here, so we keep calm and continue working."
"I’m really happy to have complete this first day. It was important. Although of course the main thing is to get used to the bike and find a good base setup. We tried a lot of things, some worked, some didn’t. For KTM and for the team it’s the first time having a rider with my size, so we have to find a decent balance. In general, I like the RC16 a lot! The engine is very smooth and I enjoyed riding. We know it’s a long process, but I think we are already on the right path. It’s just day one. Fortunately, we have another four days and some ideas, so I’m already looking forward to tomorrow."