Heavy rain makes for a tricky opening day at Portimao
Cold and wet weather conditions welcomed teams and riders in Europe this weekend. Following a windy but sunny Thursday, the rain arrived around the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve on Friday with the track action to begin. Yet, the WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team tried to get the best out of two rainy sessions.
Darryn Binder had a tough time to re-learn the Portuguese circuit in wet conditions. The MotoGP rookie stepped forward in the course of the first session, but was unable to improve his personal best time of 1:54.029 minutes in Free Practice two this afternoon. He concluded day one in 24th position overall.
The forecast for Saturday doesn’t promise too much improvement. Yet, both Dovizioso and Binder are getting more and more comfortable at the wet rollercoaster circuit in Portugal’s holiday region. They will seek further refinements in Free Practice three tomorrow morning at 09:55 local time (10:55 CET) ahead of FP4 and the all-important Qualifying sessions from 14:10 local time (15:10 CET).
“This has been a very wet Friday in Portimao. It’s been an interesting day. The track conditions here in Portimao have been very different to our race in Indonesia. It was quite an interesting day of learning with a lot lower grip, but step by step I started to gain a bit of confidence. At the end of FP2 it rained really hard and there was a lot of water on the track, which made things very difficult. I was a lot slower than at the beginning. But overall, I feel like I’m slowly starting to understand. Let’s see what the weather brings tomorrow. Hopefully I can make a step forward.”