The Misano round brought some smiles for the Yamaha team, but after the first practice day at Laguna, it appears there's still a lot of work to do. Alex Lowes was able to limit the damage, achieving eighth place and direct access to Superpole2, despite a gap of almost a second to the leaders and a crash in the afternoon.
"I'm struggling to find a good feeling with the bike - explains Lowes - It is frustrating, as last year we were quick here but at the moment I am not feeling comfortable on the bike, especially on corner entry. At Laguna Seca, if you don't have confidence with the bike it can make it really hard to push for a fast time. I had a small crash at the end when I was pushing, but I am fine and it didn't really affect anything. We were working in the right direction towards the end of the session and I was improving my times."
Not an easy situation to get out of, but the Brit is trying to keep calm and continue to make progress: “We have some work to do overnight, we will look at the data and do everything we can to allow us to make a step tomorrow. I am looking forward to getting back out on track tomorrow and hopefully being able to fight more towards the front."
While Lowes wants to improve, Michael Van Der Mark wants radical change. The Dutch rider is down in 13th place in the combined standings, with a great deal of work ahead of him it seems: "It has been a difficult day. I spent the first couple of laps getting used to the track on the R1. After that, we found ourselves struggling all day with the same problem, to be honest, the feeling of the bike on corner entry. It was difficult because we tried many things but we just could not find the right direction. After the second red flag, we had one flying lap and I pushed as hard as I could to try and make it through to SP2 and although I improved, it didn't quite work out."
Michael is clearly having a hard time and can only hope for an improvement.
“It hasn't gone well and we have to understand why the changes we are making are not working at the moment and we will study the data overnight. If we can get the bike turning tomorrow it will be a lot better and I will be trying my hardest to improve."