Team BMW Motorrad Motorsport riders Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser made a steady start on the opening day of qualifying at Portimao today. Ruben ended 12th fastest and Troy 13th, but both are confident of improvement tomorrow. They and the team will look at today’s data and then make adjustments to the bike in time for tomorrow morning’s timed qualifying session. Briton Jonathan Rea (Honda) set today’s fastest lap, with Jakub Smrz (Ducati) second, Ben Spies (Yamaha) third and Carlos Checa (Honda) fourth.
Ruben – 12th, 1:44.822
Today is the first time this bike has been at this track, so I spent most of the time working with the bike and trying to find a good set-up. The team have made a few changes to the engine spec since the last race, so this was another thing for me to understand today. This track is very physical, so my body took a bit of battering, but I didn’t have any problems in and I don’t even notice any discomfort when I am on the bike. I am looking forward to tomorrow, understanding the bike better and making progress.
Troy – 13th, 1:44.830
My biggest problems today was grip – or perhaps I should say, lack of grip. We made many changes to the bike but strangely, we didn’t find any differences and, at the end, I still didn’t have any grip. Maybe it’s to do with what the team have done to the bike recently and it’s just a case of looking at all the info and then making the necessary adjustments for tomorrow. Considering today’s problem with grip, 13th, on day one at a track the bike has never been to, is not so bad.
Berti Hauser (BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director)
Today’s finishing positions were not as good as we hoped for on the bikes with the new settings and engine specs. It seems that these particular settings are causing grip problems and that is something we will have to sort out for tomorrow. We’re working hard with Pirelli and they are giving us good support, so hopefully we’ll solve today’s problems and be higher up the order tomorrow.