Looking to put in valuable development laps on the revised Mistral 610 machine after a positive opening test in Valencia, heavy rain and gusting winds battered the Estoril track for almost the entire test. Even when the rain eased, the track was slow to dry and any productive testing was made difficult by a persistent fierce wind blowing in from the nearby Atlantic coast.
Former World 125cc Champion di Meglio finished with a best time of 1.42.8, the Frenchman escaping unhurt from a late crash on the final afternoon while trying to push on the rare occasion the track was completely dry.
British rider Smith, who continued his impressive switch to the ultra-competitive Moto2 class, completed nearly 100-laps. The 20-year-old was uninjured in a crash on the second afternoon and finished with a best lap of 1.44.2 on the unofficial timesheets.
The Tech 3 Racing Team will now be hoping for more favourable conditions when the pre-season testing campaign concludes at the Jerez circuit in early March. Smith and di Meglio will be hoping to explore more of the new Mistral 610 machine’s potential prior to jetting off to the Middle East for the eagerly anticipated opening race in Qatar on March 20.
Mike di Meglio 1.42.8
“The weather made it very difficult here in Esto ril. There was so much rain and the track never really dried sufficiently for me to push at my normal level. The track only completely dried up for the last hour of the last day but in that short time I improved my feeling with the bike. I tried some new parts and the direction we found is definitely a step forward. We are closer to the fastest group now and that gives me some good confidence. I am sorry that I crashed in the last minutes of the test today as I pushed too much and was trying to get more out of the bike when the conditions were not ideal. I want to thank the Tech 3 Racing Team because when we got out on track we did a good job and I am sure we can improve at the next test in Jerez.”
Bradley Smith 1.44.2
“Although the weather didn’t provide us with the best conditions, we are going in the right direction with the bike and I am learning a lot. The bike feels more like my friend now and that is very positive for me. Each time I go out on track I am learning so much that I am sure I can still make a big step forward. In Valencia I was two seconds away, now I am 1.5s away. I am sure we can improve by another second by the time we get to Qatar for the first race, so I’m moving in the right direction. I was lucky in the crash on the second day. The power caught me out in the rain, but luckily both the bike and me didn’t get damaged too much. We’ve got a two-week break now before the next test in Jerez and that is good to make some changes to the bike based on what we discovered in Valencia and Estoril. I’m loving working with the Tech 3 Racing Team and can’t wait for the start of the season.”
[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Tech 3 Racing]