Cool but sunny conditions throughout the test gave Smith and di Meglio the perfect opportunity to put in vital development miles on the new 2011 Mistral 610 machine that has undergone a major winter revamp in readiness for the new season.
The most significant modification to the new bike is an all-new chassis that both Smith and di Meglio were able to quickly adapt to and post competitive times as they completed nearly 350 laps together.
Although there was no official timing available at the test, di Meglio was credited with a fastest time of 1.36.6. The Frenchman completed over 150 laps to fully understand the potential of the Mistral 610 machine by evaluating a variety of settings.
Smith was one of the hardest workers on the track as he completed almost 190-laps in his quest to familiarize himself more with the heavier and more powerful Moto2 machine. He made impressive progress throughout the test. The British rider knocked close to 1.5s off his best time compared to his Tech 3 Racing Team debut in Valencia at the beginning of November.
The Tech 3 Racing Team now moves quickly to the Estoril track in Portugal for a further three-day test session that begins on Tuesday (February 15).
Mike di Meglio
“This has been a really positive test and the bike has improved so much during these three days that I am very, very happy. I leave the circuit with a good lap time and we have started to understand the bike and what my needs are and what I like for the future. This makes me very happy as I already have a good feeling with the bike and the Tech 3 Racing Team after this first test. We were working on the balance of the bike and I feel we are definitely making big progress in the direction I want. We have six more days of testing now, starting next week in Estoril and I am sure we can find more improvements. We only used a standard engine in Valencia and we don’t know what engine our rivals had. But I am already better than my time at the last test in Valencia and I can feel that the bike has very good potential.”
“This test was very important and I learned a lot. It was my first time with the 2011 bike and we worked a lot on the geometry to find a good balance. It was hard work, but a great learning process as we tried many different solutions that helped me understand what happens to the bike when we make changes and how big the differences can be. It is scary that we only have six more days of testing until the season starts, but as we found a good direction with the bike in Valencia, I am confident. I improved my time by 1.4 seconds compared to November, so it shows that we did a very good job. I am happy with my team and we work together very well and I have to thank them for their efforts. Now we go straight to Estoril, but it looks like the weather forecast is not so positive. I hope we will have as much dry track time as possible to help us build on the progress we made in Valencia.”
[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Tech 3 Racing]
Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com