Xavier Simeon enjoyed the opportunity to compete with some of Moto2's finest riders in a fiercely competitive Italian Grand Prix. The Tech 3 youngster qualified a career-best fourth and race wheel-to-wheel with championship leader Stefan Bradl in the early stages.
The Belgian eventually slipped back to 12th and later revealed that the chosen gear ratios on the Mistral 610 cost him in the race as he continuously lost positions on the 1.1km pit straight.
“Again I was able to have a good start, but it was easier this time as I was starting out of 4th position. We had some problems on the straight as we had a longer gearing and therefore my bike was not so fast on the straight. The rest of the track went very well, so it was kind of a compromise. I was losing a lot of positions because of the gearing problem and that was a pity as my rhythm was really okay and ready for a Top 10 finish.”
“I would have liked to fight a little bit more. I was with riders that are very fast and were fighting for top positions already like LÃ¼thi, Corsi and so on and all the weekend went really well and we could once again improve our performance. Every time it is getting better and better. My team is working very hard and I do as well, also when I am at home and I am sure we can do another step again at the next race at Sachsenring.”
Tech 3 team manager Herve Poncharal revealed that a pre-race chat with the Belgian rider made a difference to his performance, which he believes is constantly improving.
“Xavier did a very strong qualifying with his 4th place, he was almost on the front row. We had a very long chat last night and he said that you have to be mentally very strong in this class. When you compare his performance at the moment and what he did in Qatar and Jerez it seems it is a complete different rider. Although he started well in the race and was almost in the front group he lost a bit of time. But he was with a few very fast riders for the whole race and could fight with them. He has learned a lot because of that and gained 4 points and I am sure he will be back even stronger at Sachsenring.”