Testing has come to an end after the first ever day of MotoGP action at the Kymring in Finland, six of the test riders for the six official MotoGP manufacturers turning some laps at the newly built circuit.
Present were Stefan Bradl for Honda, Jonas Folger for Yamaha, Sylvain Guintoli for Suzuki, Mika Kallio for KTM, Michele Pirro for Ducati and Bradley Smith for Aprilia. Kallio was chosen over KTM’s other test rider, Dani Pedrosa, to give the Finnish rider a chance to ride on his home track.
The test was convened mainly to give Michelin a chance to understand the stress the track will put on the tires. Although they have software that can simulate tire loads and wear based on the layout of the track and the abrasiveness of the surface, measured using special molds, that is always an approximation.
Only actually riding on the track gives a complete picture of how much stress is placed on the tires, riders sometimes finding ways to go faster than models predict.
Conditions were far from ideal for tire testing, however. The day started with rain, and though skies cleared occasionally, the track never really dried out. Wets were used all day, and the rain and fresh construction meant the track was also quite dirty.
Stefan Bradl crashed halfway through the day, falling at Turn 17, the penultimate corner. Bradl was unhurt, but the crash briefly brought out a red flag.
Lap times under the conditions were in the range between 2’10 and 2’12, but given the track was both wet and dirty, it is hard to draw any conclusions from that.
Wet lap times are usually around 10% slower than dry lap times, so a normal dry lap should be somewhere between 1’55 and 1’58, in all likelihood.
There were several people present at the track. Israeli journalist and TV expert Tammy Gorali posted photos and a few impressions from the track, which you can find on her Twitter feed here.
Finnish local and volunteer marshal Juha Mönkkönen also posted a series of impressions of the track on his Twitter feed. Juha will be at the track on Tuesday, and so will hopefully post more tomorrow.
The MotoGP.com website also has news of the track. There is an onboard lap with Mika Kallio riding a KTM Super Duke, and a selection of photos from the first day of the test. You can also find their official report on the first day of the test there.
The test continues on Tuesday, with riders on track between 11:00 and 18:00 local time.