John’s Blog: Testing is over and I can’t wait to get racing!
So we just finished our three days in the final preseason test at Jerez. I managed 80 laps over the three days because once again we had really mixed weather conditions with rain and strong winds, not ideal.
I’m now flying back to Barcelona and then off home for a few days to Scotland before we head out to Qatar for our first race which I’m really looking forward to!
This year there is no testing in Qatar and we go straight into the usual three day race schedule on Friday. Also we are racing during the day, not at night under the floodlights as we have in the past which will definitely feel strange compared to before.
I’m feeling quite comfortable with the bike now and whilst it would’ve been good to get more laps to get a better feel for the new KTM, I don’t think we’re far away from the pace. You certainly have to ride it in a little different style to both the Honda and Mahindra/Peugeot bikes I’ve been used to in the past but with the experience I’ve got on Moto3 bikes now it won’t take long to adapt! The good thing is it feels really strong and I’m sure as the team and I get to know it better we can get more out of it.
The times here at the test were all very close and you can never really tell what other teams and riders are doing with tyres and set up. With the new surface on the Jerez circuit there was no Astroturf on the areas “off track limits“ and, for sure at times, some of the guys were taking advantage using some interesting faster lines! As the weather was changing the surface conditions were different all the time and we had little opportunity to play around too much with different settings as there were too many variables. But the bike feels good and the KTM factory guys have been very helpful giving the team great support.
The CIP guys are a good bunch too . When changing teams it always takes a little while to really build that close team spirit. We’re all getting on well already and the good thing about starting the year with the fly-aways is that you spend a lot of time together off track and can have some fun which always helps everyone to get to know each other.
Can’t wait now to start the new season. It’s going to be an even busier year with the extra race in Thailand but that will be a new experience that I’m looking forward to!
So lots to look forward to and I think I’m in a good place to challenge up the front. Thanks for all your support, it does mean a lot and is greatly appreciated!