“It was great”
Friday the 13th may be traditionally unlucky for some however MotoGP's newest team Ilmor certainly didn't take any notice of the superstition as they completed their first successful free practice sessions today at Estoril ahead of the Portuguese MotoGP this
Despite a few minor electrical issues during the first practice session Australian rider Garry McCoy completed 47 laps on the brand new 800cc Ilmor X³ even managing to keep up with much larger capacity bikes.
After some minor adjustments during the interval the second session went a lot smoother with McCoy really settling into the bike and the track and no major technical problems, he even managed to shave 1.32 seconds off his previous best time.
Now, after months of preparation and testing the team are putting all their efforts into working on the bike set up in preparation for the final practice session and then qualifying tomorrow.
Garry McCoy, Ilmor X³ Rider: “It was great, everything went the way I hoped it would and I feel very comfortable on the bike. Obviously there were a couple of little problems to be ironed out initially but that's normal and you would expect that with any team. We made real progress today and I'm sure we will continue to do so over the weekend.”
Mario Illien, Owner, Ilmor: “I wasn't too happy after the first session. We had a few small issues with one of the bikes which seemed to have a minor electrical problem. Fortunately we managed fix this in between sessions. I think we have made reasonable progress today but I would really like to see the lap time come down – there is definite room for improvement but the whole the team is working well and I think we are making a good start.”
Eskil Suter, Owner, and CEO Suter Racing Technology: “We had a couple of unforeseen problems with one of the bikes during the first session but overall things are looking good. We made some definite improvements today and we had no major problems so the team can be happy with that. Without doubt we need to improve the bike's performance in order to give Garry the bike he needs to improve the lap time but the most important thing is that we haven't had any big problems with the bike.
Steve Miller, Managing Director Ilmor: “I don't think the sessions went too badly, obviously we are just starting out and there are always going to be teething problems, we have had a few adjustments to deal with. During the first session it seemed like one of the engines wasn't quite clean enough at the top so we had some work to do there. It's hard for us because we are measuring ourselves against past performances when we're just at the beginning with MotoGP. We'll get there, this afternoon was much better!”